I just returned from the UK where I took my older two boys (12 and 14) as a special treat. They’re both talented junior squash players (the sport, not the vegetable) so they qualified to play in the Scottish Junior Open and the British Junior Open (the world’s premiere tournament for junior squash). Here are just a few random thoughts and observations:
Squash is a fantastic sport for kids (and adults too)
Forbes rated a range of sports, including swimming, rowing, bicycling, basketball, etc. based on four fitness factors, as well as on injury risk and calorie burn.
And Squash came out #1. These kids are in great shape!
But more than that – I love the fact that sportsmanlike behavior is actively encouraged in Squash. No swearing or throwing of racquets is allowed – kids are penalized for it. And they’re taught to play honorably – for example, if the ball bounces twice and the ref doesn’t see it, kids are encouraged to call themselves out (you’re only allowed one bounce, but sometimes it’s hard for the ref to see).
Now THAT’s sure different from many sports where kids are taught that breaking any rule is ok – even actively encouraged – as long as the ref doesn’t see it. My sons and nephews (not to mention, ahem, moi) play, and have played many sports so I know I’m not painting with too broad a brush when I say that too many coaches ….. from tough sports like hockey through seemingly genteel ones like water polo …. often teach kids to play dirty – just “don’t get caught”. Not values I want to teach my kids.
If you want to learn more, check out: US Squash, Squash Canada or European Squash as a start. Or let me know and I’ll help you figure out what’s available in your area.
Find an opportunity to travel with one or more kids without your spouse
Virtually all our trips are family trips – all six of us. Those have been great and memorable. But this was great and memorable in a different way – just us guys. A great bonding time and terrific shared experience. It’ll be a memory that lasts a lifetime! And some big bonuses for Leslie…..
- she had her special time with our 10 year old, right here at home.
- she now has my everlasting appreciation for all the organizing she does for the family on trips and….well….ALL the time. What a relief to have her in charge again!!
Edinburgh’s extremely charming, even in winter
We were there during late December. That means cold and misty. Nevertheless, the kids and I loved it. And Hogmanay, the Scottish New Year’s Eve party, was a blast. Just 120,000 of your closest friends milling about a few blocked off streets enjoying outdoor music, tons of fireworks, several amusement park rides and plenty of crowd-watching. We got lucky, arriving a little bit early and finding ourselves front row standing spots to see the Red Hot Chilli Pipers
, a bagpipe band that really rocks!
Here’s an upbeat version of Auld Lang Syne: