11 Year Old Athlete Overdoses On Sports Camps- A Parable


Michael Boyle and Lee Taft

 

* This article is inspired by an actual summer camp list sent to me by a colleague ( see below) The camp names and geographical area have been changed to protect the guilty. The parent had registered the child for an entire summer of sports camps. The first four weeks were big name overnight basketball camps, the last 6 weeks local basketball and lacrosse camps. Had I not seen this myself, I would never have believed it. The list is fact, the following article is fiction.

“In a time when we are worried about the lack of activity and rate of obesity in our children today we learned of a different type of story that will blow your mind. An 11 year old athlete, seemingly healthy and fun loving, made a simple request. She asked her parents to go to a sports camp. Her parents, forgetting to read the instructions on the camp brochures marked CHILD DEVELOPMENT AND DOSAGE mistakenly over dosed her on camp registrations.

Child development experts tell us that a child between the age of 8 to 11 should take only 1 to 3 camps per summer. Our experts also tell us that this is a clear case of parents not reading the labels and thinking that if a little camp participation is good than 14 camps must be better.

The most frightening fact is that the parents, only thinking of future successes (and future scholarship offers), completely missed the tell tale signs of an overdosed child. The child was suffering from chronic fatigue, sniffles, shin splints, knee pain, and homesickness. More importantly, she missed her friends. Yet the parents simply told her “if you want a scholarship you HAVE TO TAKE THESE CAMPS EVERY WEEK FOR TEN WEEKS”. In fact in some week there were double doses of “camp”

It wasn’t until a camp counselor noticed that the 11 year old wasn’t at breakfast one morning and went to check on her in her room that the effects of the overdose were finally recognized. When the counselor entered the 11 year olds room she was crying in the corner, totally exhausted with ice on both knees. She stated simply that she didn’t want to participate any more and expressed a desire to go to the beach. When the camp counselor asked is there anything else bothering you the little girl said; “My mom and dad told me I will be a disappointment if I don’t get a scholarship”. They also told me if I quit now I will be a quitter the rest of my life. The 11 year old finished by saying, I don’t want to make my mother and father mad at me but I just want to play with my friends and not be forced to do all these camps.

Just remember, this is a child, not an adult who got stuck in the dryer. Even kids who love sports need a break from sports and just need to be kids.

This is the edited version of the actual camp list I received

  Clinic Type Dates Cost Paid Owe Dr. Form Camp Form Bring Forms Done  
6/20-6/26 Hoop Dreams overnt Sun., 6/19 (2pm)Wed. 6/22 (noon) $495 $495 $0 done Done None Y  
6/27-7/3 BC Basketball overnt Mon. 6/27 (10am)Wed. 6/29 (3:30pm) $515 $200$315 $0 done done None Y  
7/4-7/10 AAU Nationals overnt Sun. 7/3Fri. 7/8                
7/11-7/17 UMass dayovernt Sun. 7/10 (2pm)Wed. 7/13 (noon) $425$500 $150 $275 Yes, no sign None No-mailed Y  
7/18-7/24 Holy Cross overnt Mon. 7/18 (1pm)Thurs. 7/21 (noon) $450 $225$225 $0 done done None Y  
7/25-7/31 PGC overnt Mon. 7/25 (noon)Fri. 7/29 (11am) $670 $250$420 $0 Yes no sign Yes Yes N-forms  
8/1-8/7 Pro Lax Day9-3pm Mon. 8/1Wed. 8/3 $345 $345 $0 Done Done No Y  
  Hoop Ed Day9-3pm Thurs. 8/4Fri. 8/5 $90 $0 $90 No No No N-$  
8/8-8/14 Holy Cross Bball Day9-3pm Mon. 8/8-Fri. 8/12 $250 $250 $0 No Yes No Y  
8/15-8/21 TPI Golf Day9-4pm Mon. 8/15Fri. 8/19 $485 $390 $95 No Yes No N-$ form  
  Sara Behn Night5:30-8 Mon. 8/15-Wed. 8/17 $185 $185 $0 No No No Y  
8/22-8/28 Pro Ambitions Basketb Day9-3pm Mon. 8/22-Fri. 8/26 $305 $305 $0 No Y Send 6/18 N-form  
  Superlax TBD Night5:15-6:45 $180 $180 $0 No No N Y
  Start to Success Longfellow Day8-3pm $35 $35 $0 No No No Y
8/29-9/4 Cape Cod                  
                                     

2 Responses to “11 Year Old Athlete Overdoses On Sports Camps- A Parable”

  1. mboyle1959 Says:

    Thanks Bill and thanks for reading. It was actually mostly Lee, I just ran with his idea.

  2. Mike; this is a great article. Thank you for writing it. I could not agree more. Parent education is the missing link in our industry with young athletes. This article should go mainstream!!!

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