Child-like wonder (it’s a good thing)

by Jack Warren

There is exactly one TV show that I make a point to watch every week. Believe it or not, it’s Little Big Shots with Steve Harvey (NBC, Sunday night). Why do I love this show so much? Yes, it’s cute. Yes, it’s entertaining. Yes, Steve Harvey is funny. The thing that compels me to watch it, however, is the innocence and youthful zeal that is displayed by most of the young guests.

Check out this great example!

Most of the young people that are on Little Big Shots have something that they are either really good at, something about which they have a passion, or a combination of both. Frankly, I think that the producers could pull almost any six or seven year old off the street and have him or her talk to Steve Harvey and it would be entertaining. You see, most every child approaches a thing or things in their life with a great deal of passion and reckless abandon until LIFE (parents, friends, acquaintances, and most adults) begins to show and tell them why what they’re doing is — silly or childish or stupid.

Watching this show on a weekly basis reminds me of a couple of things. The first is — what gets you all geeked up? What do you still look at with child-like wonder? What brings a smile to your face every time you experience it? For me, one of those things is trains. To this day I can’t have a train go by on the old Chicago & Alton tracks near our house on Route 66 without stopping to look.

The other thought I have as I watch these kids is what are you doing to encourage or discourage those in your orbit who have these passion? Please don’t be that person who utters the words, “grow up!” to a kid who’s just having fun. But here’s something else to think about, since most of you reading this are coaches. Have you taken every bit of fun out of the game because “this is serious business”?

Think hard about your activities and of those in your charge. Know the difference between childish and child-like. And most of all, stop and smell the roses. You won’t regret it.

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