Jericho Scott and Wussified America

Ryan Senior Writer IAugust 28, 2008

By now, everyone knows the story.  Jericho Scott, the 10-year-old with the 40+ MPH fastball, is dominating his competition.  So much so, that the competition doesn't want to play anymore.

This has led to an uproar.  Scott's parents are upset because their child just wants to pitch.  The kids of the other teams think it's unfair that Scott is allowed to keep pitching at this level.  Well, they're both right.

First off, parents (not all but it only takes one outrageous parent these days) are soft when it comes to their kids and sports.  In this day and age, we're told that any sort of rejection or failure will lead your kid into a life of rejection and failure. Kids are coddled and told there are really no winners or losers; everyone is the same.  This is ridiculous.

Kids raised this way are going to grow up, become adults and get punched in the forehead by the real world.  They'll wonder why everything isn't going the way they want and not have the tools to deal with it.

Rejection and failure are apart of life and, believe it or not, kids can handle it. Hell, I played for some bad teams in both tee-ball and hockey through my life and I'd like to think I'm a well-balanced adult in retrospect.

I wasn't told I was the best, that I deserved to win everything.  I was raised that, in sports, simply work your butt off and have fun and you're a success.  And that's absolutely correct.

In this situation, however, it's not entirely the fault of soft parents. 

Scott, before going to his current team in mid-season, played in an all-stars league where he was simply okay--he didn't dominate, but was a good pitcher.  But in a league of first-time baseball kids, he looks like Pedro Martinez in his prime.

The simple solution? Make Scott play in the all-star league permanently.  Oh, but here is the not-so-simple part: he doesn't want to and neither do his parents. And his parents, in this situation, are in the wrong.

This is the point of lumping in different age groups (ex: 9-13) together. If one exceptional 10-year-old is playing with a group of kids his age that just don't match up, they get moved up.  Isn't the idea of athletics to give kids the best competition for their skills?

What's the point for Scott to pitch against over-matched, new-to-the-game kids?

Kids sports are getting to a ridiculous point and it's time for the parents to step up. If your kid sucks, tell him or her that trying hard and having fun is the whole point anyway. If your kid is too good and dominating, move them up and try to push their skills.  Stop coddling your kid into believing the world revolves around them; that there are no losers in this world.

Sometimes, a little rejection and failure are for the best.