Lecturing While Running: Free Stuff

My son and I occasionally run together and he says stuff that deserves lectures. Here’s the latest.

Dad, today track started and I’m not joining. There are 115 kids on the team. That’s too many. They never even run much at practice, they just run like one mile and spend an hour and a half talking.

Well, son, that’s why many people don’t vote for referendums to tax money from people for school activities. I guarantee you, if parents had to pay for their kids to be on the team, there wouldn’t be nearly as many people on it.

Furthermore, the ones who were on it would be the ones who took it more seriously. Thus, the team would be better. Instead, now you have about a hundred extra kids who will just waste time and dork around, hurting the whole team.

Sure, there will be some poor kids who would probably be good and wouldn’t be able to pay to join. But if the school had a limited number of scholarships available to pay for it, things kids would compete for, a kid with talent and no money could still easily be on the team. This would be much cheaper and more efficient at developing actual talent.

But we live in a day where if a kid wants to do something, the whole world has to lay down and let them do it even if they stink at it. Since that’s the case, few of these kids work at anything and sit around and wait for someone else to do the hard work of paying for it. They will continue to stink.

Few, if any, of these kids would endeavor to train for a half-marathon on their own. Most kids join track to be social, not to run. Thus, most of the kids won’t get better at running, but they will get better at talking more. And this is not good. The more obstacles in your way, the harder you need to work. This weeds out the pretenders and improves the skilled.

People don’t care about stuff that’s free. People care about stuff they are invested in. If being on the track team is free, expect a lot of people to join and expect a lot of wasted time and a lot of poor results.

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