Saturday, January 22, 2011
Tocar y Luchar (To Play and To Fight)
This is one of the most beautiful and inspiring things I have ever seen. It gives me hope and cleanses my palate after the drama of my week. We could learn so much from the people and the process of the Venezuelan Youth Orchestra Project. We have it all wrong here in the US when it comes to youth and sport. We don't nurture and mentor. We don't teach and inspire discipline, character and hard work. We don't value the precious gifts of play and love of the game. We aren't patient with those who may need a little extra time to develop. We don't value the process of deliberate practice and mastery of fundamentals.
We provide "exposure" and sponsorship. We exploit physical attributes and early maturation of young people for the financial benefit and notoriety of the adult-run organizations that trot them around the country. We value game skill specialization, early competition, pushing young bodies to their limit, rather than build general physical foundations and let the skills grow and flow out of a sturdy musculoskeletal infrastructure.
Market forces dictate value and kids become commodities. Not survival of the fittest, but survival of the lucky.
The inertia of the business of youth sport is great. But I am happy to be a part of the struggle against it. Tocar y Luchar.