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Section: children, mental-health, work 
 

Dear Ann Landers,
School sports have taken over the lives of my children, and I'm tired of it. Am I the only one? Some nights, my kids don't have the time or energy to study. They just fall into bed exhausted. There is no time for doing home chores or taking on after-school jobs, which some kids need. We hear a great deal about having well-rounded students. Sports participation interferes with that. If the kids want to play soccer and be in the band, too, forget it! The coaches won't allow it. No excuse is acceptable for missing a practice or a game -- including weddings or funerals, let alone eating supper with the family. Let's face it. This is supposed to be fun for the kids. Most of them will never play professionally or get a college athletic scholarship. I propose parents unite and refuse to let the kids practice or play during school holidays or on weekends. If parents would make a united stand and say, "Only Monday through Friday, and two weeks before school starts, and one week after school lets out for the summer," the coaches would have no choice but to schedule during that timeframe. Too many parents and coaches have forgotten that the real purpose of school is to get an education. -- Sports Parents in La Crosse, Wis.

Dear Sports Parents,
You've written a very tough letter, but all your complaints are valid. I wonder if there are other parents who feel as you do. I also wonder if other coaches around the country are as demanding as the ones in La Crosse, Wis.