Youth in Sports – Final Blog 1
Sport is a universal concept. Sport brings people of all ages, sizes, types, ethnicities, races and more, together to support one cause. Sports promote cooperation and teamwork, improve one’s attention and focus, and help one become a better-rounded person in general. It’s truly a beautiful thing.
But there are two sides to every story.
It is estimated that 35 million children ages 5-18 play organized sports each year. This number seems like a good number. But it is also estimated that seven in 10 children quit by the age of 13. More and more kids are getting burned out with their sport.
Harsh parents, way-too-aggressive coaches and injuries are to account for this. It is also the fault of the parents who are pushing way too hard for their child to get a college scholarship in sports, with the hopes of going professional. Even though the percentages of going pro are so slim, parents still hold onto this unrealistic idea and will do anything to push their kid onto the next level. They are taking out the most important thing of youth sports – FUN.
The idea of fun is what Ohio University Youth in Sports educator and coach David Carr harps on, “There are so many other negative factors in today’s youth sports that we are focusing on everything but the main idea, which is simply for the kids to have some fun.”
Take for example, the show Friday Night Tykes. The show previewed in December 2013 and premiered earlier this year. With each episode came more and more controversy. For those who don’t know, Friday Night Tykes takes eight and nine-year-old boys and exemplifies extreme football. Coaches on the show were shown encouraging their players to use profanity, pointing out where to target opposite players for head shots.
Promoting violence and profanity and pushing EIGHT and NINE-year-olds to their maximum is definitely no way to promote youth sports and we need to do something about it. Found on Hidden Demographics of Youth Sports, here is a list of reasons why kids have quit a sport.
It should come as no shock to see the main reason children have quit. I’ve seen my friends cry because their fathers were too rough on them during sports games. A girl I know has been playing basketball YEAR-ROUND since she was five years old and was close to quitting because she was just tired of it. She had no time to be a kid, no time to have FUN.
So, we need to learn how to balance the competitiveness with the excitement and enjoyment to make sure that those seven in 10 children DO NOT quit by age 13.