We are suffering from soccer fatigue and it won’t be letting up any time soon now. My daughter Celine plays for the Bloomfield Hills Force U-13 team and we got home Sunday night around 10 p.m. from her second straight weekend of soccer. Last weekend her team won a soccer tournament in Ft. Wayne, Ind. Last weekend they tied for second at the Grand Rapids Crew tournament with a 2-1-1 record and this weekend we finally get a break.
Celine is still playing in a soccer tournament but at least it will be home during the Force Invitational in Oakland County.
Kids sports is draining and becoming more grueling and sophisticated. The teams use these tournaments to make teams better and give players experience. And the clubs and towns use them to make money. I know we were good for the Grand Rapids economy because we ate out several times and spent our money in food, hotel and snacks.
This stuff is big business and we are at ground zero. She loves soccer and she loves her team so it looks like we are in it for the long haul. But it is so much different than when I was growing up. We got balls and bats and entire neighborhoods walked to the neighborhood park or playground to play baseball and football.
We also played football in the street. We shot hoops in the alley and played strike ‘em out on the back of a building. There is no way our kids would do that. They wouldn’t even think about it.
Instead they join organized teams now that cost big money. I feel like I am following the Pistons or Red Wings when I travel with Celine. We have one weekend coming up where she plays a night game in Bloomfield Field Hills and a morning game in Grand Rapids the next day.
I know it is the same in travel hockey, baseball, softball and basketball.
Whatever happened to the good ol’ days of walking to the park for a free game of baseball or soccer?