What's truly unfortunate is that these children can develop inflated egos. With their parents constantly extolling their athletic abilities, it becomes impossible for the kids to see through the fog of accolades. They are unable to discover who they really are, and this can have a devastating effect on them in their later school years. It can be especially hard for them to take when they reach high school and compete against other athletes of equal ability. No longer are they the superathletes their parents told them they were. Rather, they may be lucky just to be as good as the rest—and what's wrong with that?
DOUGLAS A. EXLEY
While pushing athletes to the limit may improve their athletic abilities, it is imperative for coaches, parents and peers to realize that an athlete's physical limits are not his or her only barrier. I think that you did a great job in showing that the price athletes pay for success may be higher than many of us realize.
Your FACES IN THE CROWD item (Oct. 18) on Danny Mueller, a 9-year-old marathoner, could be construed as an endorsement of long-distance running for children. This is unfortunate because the most recent orthopedic and pediatric research shows potentially hazardous results in youngsters from such endurance activities. As a matter of fact, the American Academy of Pediatrics has issued a position paper warning against long-distance events for prepubescent children. In addition, some American Alliance for Health, Physical Education, Recreation and Dance researchers have suggested, for physical and psychological reasons, that youngsters not participate in competitive endurance events before age 10. I hope that SI will use its influence to caution parents and children against premature endurance activities.
LINDA K. BUNKER, PH.D.
Motor Learning Laboratory
University of Virginia
SCOTT REPPERT'S EXAMPLE
What a welcome change! Jill Lieber's story on Lawrence University Running Back Scott Reppert ( Appleton's Apple Pie Guy, Nov. 8) was a ray of sunshine on an otherwise bleak sports horizon. When the daily sports report becomes a m�lange of strikes, cases of drug abuse, litigations and probations, it is refreshing to see a young man with the qualities of compassion and empathy that are so evident in Reppert.
As an educator who has observed the deleterious effect of the current sports scene on today's youth, I can only hope that there are more Scott Repperts who are learning to keep everything in perspective.
Rock Springs, Wyo.
After reading the story about Scott Reppert, I feel reassured that there are excellent models for our young people to look up to, and that at least some of our youngsters are being taught the value of sharing life with others and not just seeing what you can get from the world no matter what the price.
Too often those people who have been lifted to the ranks of "superstar" are the ones our youth aspire to imitate. However, the number who make it to the top is so small compared to the number seeking those positions that we have to help our young people off Cloud Nine and bring them back down into the real world of their potential.
Reppert has shown that his values in life are in good order. Congratulations for discovering a new hero.
Religious Education Office
Saint Pius X Elementary School
Jack Falla's article (He's the Hindmost of the Devils, Nov. 8) on Chico Resch and the New Jersey Devils was very well done, except for one statement. He refers to the trade of Barry Beck to the New York Rangers as one of two boneheaded front office moves by the team, then known as the Colorado Rockies, and notes that the four players received in the deal are no longer with the franchise.
As general manager of the Rockies at the time and the person instrumental in negotiating the trade, I beg to differ with Falla. We received five players and $750,000 in cash for Beck, a good and talented defenseman. It is true that none of the players involved is still with the franchise. However, three of those players were subsequently traded for players who are with the Devils: Mike McEwen was swapped for the Islanders' Steve Tambellini and Chico Resch; Pat Hickey for Joel Quenneville (also involved in that deal with Toronto was Wilf Paiement for Lanny McDonald); Lucien DeBlois for Brent Ashton and Winnipeg's third-round choice in the 1982 entry draft.