SIDELINE OBSERVATIONS: Today's kids are missing out(side)

Published: Tuesday, June 25, 2013 at 06:29 PM.

Driving around town the past few days, I've seen some moms with their kids at Twin Hills Park, but the local baseball fields, tennis courts and outdoor basketball courts are empty. And the local sports camps do a good job of getting the kids outside and playing, but it's not the same as it used to be.

There was a time when kids didn't need a controlled environment to encourage an active lifestyle or participation in sports. Back in the day, we would play ball from the early morning until late afternoon, only breaking for lunch.

If it got too hot, we might go inside for an hour or two to cool down, but those times were rare. We were lean, tanned and never worried about being overweight or overheated.

With all the talk in the news about childhood obesity being on the rise, there's no better time than summer for kids to get active.

In addition to playing baseball during the summer, I loved to ride my bicycle, climb trees, fish and swim when I was a kid. I even found time to go to the local tennis courts and hit a ball around with my buddies.

Some of my best memories of youth and dearest friendships forged were spent on endless days too quickly gone.

I know the world is different today than it was when I was a boy. Computer games and video games have replaced real baseball. And why should a kid go outside and sweat on the tennis court when you can play tennis in the comfort of your own home on your Wii?

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