To snack or not to snack, that is the question!
Youth recreational teams across Hampton Roads share one post game ritual that has to stop, and that’s postgame snacks. I’m not totally against the postgame party for the little ones, but team moms and dads should know when to say when.
Youth soccer, basketball, baseball, softball and other team sports make a ritual of postgame parties that provide young players with cupcakes, chips, cookies fruits and other sweet treats. But at what age should that practice discontinue? I’m not an expert on the matter, so this is just my opinion. I believe once the kids reach double digits, its time to do away with the postgame sugar high.
In baseball, most kids who are 10 years of age are playing kid pitch and the game gets much more competitive with playing time and the pitfalls of the game coming into play. They are really learning how the game is played and need to stay focused before, during and somewhat after a game.
These young players feel like they have graduated to something special and they feel more mature than those little guys playing tee-ball. What would you rather they focus on: the postgame party or what they just experienced on the field of play? Besides, at the age of 10 they will soon be in middle school and knocking on puberty’s door where they will embrace more independence and freedom.
I’m fine with young players in tee-ball or coach pitch sharing snacks together after a game. Postgame snacks are just as much about the experience as the game itself and it’s a great way for players, parents and coaches to bond with others on the team. One of my all time favorite videos is of my son Casey when he was about 5-years-old shouting for joy to his brother Cameron about the post gamesnack of Oreos.
But parents new to organized youth sports are not sure when the snacks should end. Its my suggestion, as a coach, parent and former player that soon after the kids get out of the youngest ages of the game, those introductory years, its time to shelve the sign up sheet and snacks. But if you do feel snacks are still important at that young age, make it a healthy snack and limit the sugar.
You may disagree with me and I’m completely fine with that, I only know that as fast as these kids grow up, it wont be long before they are driving off after games to buy their own snacks!