Young gems still exist in ‘Generation Lazy’

Ah, we’ve spotted one! Not a very majestic creature but an interesting one at that. There it lays on the couch, stationed for at least two hours now. TV remote in hand, iPhone on ear yapping away with a laptop in lap, Facebook, Twitter and Instagram tabs all in action. The creature known to most as ‘The Teen’ doesn’t hunt for food or luxuries but instead only asks and receives, but don’t get too close they have a fiery moods and could strike at any moment.

To many present day parents the description above sounds all too familiar. Often described as ‘spoiled’, ‘lazy’ and ‘ungrateful,’ the teenagers of this generation are causing concern about how they will make the transition into independent adult life.

Teen life has transformed since the days of the ‘Brady Bunch’ with technology and media influence replacing active teenage lifestyles for underage drinking, partying and permanent couch crashing, but believe it or not all is not lost for the future. Softball pocket-rocket Anastasia Dimitriadis is just one teen who bucks this trend.

Thirteen-year old Anastasia has a weapon up her sleeve and no it’s not a hair straightener. The weapon is her Softball which she’s hoping will help her secure a place in the Victorian Softball team. Her love of sports goes back to her toddler days. Forget playing with Barbie dolls, Anastasia’s toy of choice was a plastic footy at age three which set the tone for her teen years. “I would describe myself as a bit of a tomboy because I engage in other sorts of contact sports that most girls may feel uncomfortable with playing and I tend to have a tomboyish attitude to most things.” She said.  

 

When asked if she sees herself as more active compared to her fellow teens, especially girls she replied; “I do think that I am sportier and more active than other girls my age because I would rather play sport than talk about boys.”  

 

It seems that the desires and goals of teens today are buried under media pressure and peer-pressure. While the definition of an accomplishment for today’s teens seems to leave parents thinking Gen WHY? Anastasia believes that true success only comes with hard work. “My sporting goals are to basically be the best that I can be and I plan to achieve that by working hard and training even harder.” It’s this assertive, hungry for success attitude that seems to have dropped in teens overtime.

 

Anastasia has been playing softball in a mixed team for three years and like most serious athletes she’s committed to a hectic training routine which consists of; “running, stretches and fielding and hitting drills. It can seriously wear you out at times.” Imagine that, young teens actually running, stretching and doing drills. Who am I kidding? The best source of exercise Gen Y get is ‘poking’ on Facebook.

 

Not only is Anastasia committed but she’s also open about her challenges and determined to take them head on. When asked if she had ever felt underestimated or belittled while playing Softball she replied; “I have felt underestimated because I am one of the youngest players in my team and sometimes I feel as if I need to try to prove myself more than others.”

 

In the open interview I straight out asked Anastasia what she thought about her generation being labelled as lazy and spoilt, her response revealed that she believes parents may have used questionable parenting leading their kids to where they are today, on the couch and unmotivated. “Teens have been taught and have picked things up by their parents and other elders so we haven’t developed these traits by ourselves” she argues.

 

Perhaps the easy way out being advertised to teens is another contributing factor to blame for their lack of fire and independence. Their role model can affect their choices and attitudes more than they care to admit and let’s face it, there are more teens keeping up with the Kardashians than the celebrities who worked their way to the top with determination and independence. Anastasia however looks up to someone more specific to her needs and goals modelling herself after USSSA Pride Softball player Megan Willis who plays Catcher just like her.

It’s not hard to see why she looks up to Megan when she preaches ideal values and an attitude like this; “I may not make as much as a big leaguer, have the riches and fame that comes with it…fancy, cars, fancy house, my last name on a jersey selling in sports stores, but I do have the title in front of my name PROFESSIONAL! And I wear it proudly. There are not many that can say, “I’m a professional athlete. I can only keep dreaming for professional softball to keep rising in the right direction. Blessed to be a part of paving the way for the little girls who dream to be a professional softball player someday.”

Anastasia freakishly mirrors Megan’s quote saying; “My hopes for girls who want to play softball in the future is that they should join a club as soon as possible because they will have the best experience and also make amazing friends. The most important value a female athlete should have is perseverance. I think this because it will take time to be the best that they can be, but they should never give up. (Teen girls) should just have a go at sport, because it will change their views more than they could imagine.”

 

With such an inspiring idol and fighting personality Anastasia, though still very young is proof that all might not be lost for the future generation or the success of upcoming Australian professional athletes after all.

About Danielle Eid

Im 23, cute and most importantly im the Collingwood Football Club's very own PRINCESS!! :) A Latrobe Uni graduate from Bachelor of Journalism. Admirer of Samantha Lane and Jon Ralph. Not your typical 'Robot Journalist' Loves Alex Fasolo

Comments

  1. Malcolm Ashwood says

    Thanks Danielle a thought provoking article . 1st , off well done and all the best Anastasia , obviously a mature kid who is switched on and doing her best . I am 50 , and when growing up there were no bloody video games , computer etc we all talked and played sport outside as much as possible . Society has changed and in this case for the worse , obesity is growing at a alarming rate we aren’t active enough and want to play.As a cricket coach it is a nightmare trying to fill sides basically begging kids to play these days they commit by the week if your lucky not the season as we did
    I don’t think there is a ready fix either , all the best thank you I will continue to try and get my two kids outside ! Thanks Danielle

  2. Thanks Danni.

    And congrats Anastasia. You sound like you are having a great time pursuing something you really love.

    Any tips for my littl’uns most welcome.

    Regards
    JTH

  3. Thanks for the comments and again a big thankyou to Anastasia and Phil for allowing me to interview her for my uni assignment piece. :)
    loving the good feedback hope my uni tutors will mark this accordingly! :P

  4. Neil Anderson says

    I was wondering if your article was a uni assignment as I read it when I should have been focusing on Anastasia’s story. It wasn’t that many years ago (or maybe it was) that I was a mature-age student at Latrobe and then Monash so I still have the antennae up when I see something well-written or presented such as your piece. In other words I still like to read stuff that I can learn from as well as enjoy.
    You should advise your tutor that your work has been tested and examined at the highest level within the Almanac Faculty and in their opinion the mark should at least be a Distinction.

  5. Phillip Dimitriadis says

    Great work Danni,
    Anastasia was delighted with the article, as were many of her Softball colleagues. High Distinction for sure!

  6. Thanks Phil :)
    im glad i have done Anastasia’s sporting aspirations justice.
    if im not happy with my grade i think ill get an Almanac petition going :P

  7. Danielle,

    Great article and all the best to your subject, Anastasia. I lament the thought of our future sporting generations for all the reasons outlined in your thought provoking article.

    It is easy to blame these slothful youth, however, most of the blame lies as the feet of their parents providing active role models. This has been largely been brought about by work pressures where everybody is time poor so kids, instead of going for a kick with their dad/hit of tennis with mum, spend hours glued to a computer screen.

    As a Gen-Xer, I remember both my parents playing sport and I can recall, with fondness, going for runs with my dad then sitting on his feet while he cranked out 100 sit-ups as a 6 year old.

    Today’s parents are so fried trying to put bacon on the table, they don’t care if their kids eat it all just so they can get some peace.

    I’ve made it my first priority to make sure I am a fit dad for a lot of reasons but mostly to provide an example to my daughter so that she too may enjoy the life-long friendships and invaluable life skills that only sport can provide.

    Without your health, you have nothing.

  8. Peter Fuller says

    I’ve just read a splendid article in the new issue of The Monthly by James Button, which is an account of his daughter’s progression in a soccer team from under 10s up through the age groups. It relates neatly to Danni’s fine account of Anastasis’s involvement with softball, and is particularly good on what I would term the feminist issues aired when girls’ engage in sport – especially team sport.
    Well done Danni and Anastasia, good luck to you both in fulfilling your potential longer-term, and for you Danni for the immediate critical assessment of your fine assignment, which certainly deserves a high grade..

  9. Great article. Sport and outdoor activity teaches great life skills and should be encouraged by all.

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