I wish there was more push for academics and less for sports. Often times sports and other extra-curricular even interferes with school. The late nights really bother us as we are firm believers in making sure our children know how important a good night sleep is.
Sports and huge salaries are so prevalent on TV that it is no surprise that parents push their kids in this direction. They see success down this path. What they don't know is that there is only one chance in 100,000 that their kids will even make it to the pros. There is a greater chance of significant injury, often with lifelong consequences (like a bum knee). So, these parents are entering their kids in a lottery of a sorts, instead of focusing on something real.
We seem to have an earlier bedtime than many other families but I know my kids need the sleep. I wonder about what it will be like for them when they are in high school and the work load is more intense - and if they do want to pursue a sport that cuts into their time even more. Of course colleges like you to have extracurricular activities so it's a real balancing act. I wish that high performing kids were allowed to work on homework in class or have some kind of study hall option if they already have learned what the rest of the class is still workingon learning. My child spends a lot of time reading in her classes. In middle school that's not so bad, but in high school that time could be better used doing homework for other classes.