When it comes to my kids, one of the things that stresses me out is this whole idea of “specializing.”
Since my daughter was four or five, I've watched as many of her friends have streamlined their focus on piano or guitar, on club soccer or volleyball teams, on ice skating or acting or singing or swimming or tennis or dance. The stakes seem to get really high really fast - weekend tournaments in Las Vegas or Sacramento, private coaches before and after school, auditions for TV shows or equity theater groups, lessons or practices five or six days a week.
It culminated a few weeks ago – for me, anyway – with a New York Times article titled Committing to Play for a College, Then Starting 9th Grade, which detailed how women’s soccer coaches are recruiting girls as young as thirteen to play for their universities. It seems like craziness to me…but is it?
Is there even room anymore in our college-obsessed world for kids who like to do lots of things but not do any of them at an elite level?