Sports, music and school – how much stress is destroying our children

Sylvia Choi (text), Birgit Lang (illustration)

We would like to introduce you to Noah: Noah is nine years old and lives in one of the largest Swiss cities. His name is different but his family does not want his name to appear in the newspaper. Noah loves to play football. With colleagues during recess and after school and with the neighbors’ children – even if, as he himself says, he is not the manager in football. This does not dampen his enthusiasm. Until he starts at the club – that really pushes him away from playing football. Because the volunteer coach, who also coaches his son on the team, has big plans. Although it is a B team, many of them are just starting out, but according to the parents, the coach repeatedly emphasizes: “The dream of becoming a professional football player is still possible!”

Noah, who just wants to have fun playing, explains at home that two of the kids on his B-team want to be pros. That’s why everyone should train a lot more now. Twice a week in the evening plus a match every weekend is not enough for a coach. You should stay there for at least a week during the holidays, and preferably three weeks during the summer holidays, so that the kids can practice every day. During the week, the coach prepares a third additional “voluntary” training session. If you do not want to attend or cannot attend, you can switch to the C team. In general, a change to the C team, where the coach, as he says next to the field in sight of the children, would lower the “fools”, like the sword of Damocles on Noah. You should not miss any training, otherwise there is a risk of relegation. You have to play every match, otherwise there is a risk of relegation.

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