Youth Sports Should be Stress Free
Children want to play and parents want their children to perform well. This conflict is played out all the time in youth sports. In a ‘USA Today’ Survey in 1991, 38% of the children said they would prefer that their parents did not attend their activity and 45% said they could not sleep the night before worrying about the event.
What happened? All children want is to have fun and play ball with their friends. Have we gone too far in pushing kids to win and be their best?
Coaches Vs. Parents… Never a Fun Experience
There is an active lawsuit where parents are suing the Cy-Fair School District for not allowing their child to play, and therefore denying him the possibility of a scholarship. The coach’s defense for not playing the boy was disciplining him for poor behavior. However, the parents say their child lost out on being noticed by scouts and was being unfairly treated by the coaches. This lawsuit is the result of the unfortunate importance and money placed on sports at younger and younger ages.
Ultra Competitive Youth Sports Isn’t for Everyone
The myth of college sports not being highly selective and competitive is bad for youth sports. The odds are 1 in 40,000, and most do not graduate with their scholarship due to grades or performance on the field. Plus, if they do play all 4 years, at most schools the graduation rate is only 20% to 50%, and the odds of a pro career is 1 in 1,000,000. The lottery has better odds.
So, why are parents risking so much? Well, parents want what is best for their children, while coaches want what is best for their team. Youth sports have become more about money and prestige when it should be about including everyone and allowing children to have fun, positive experiences.
Creating a Fun, Fair, Positive, Environment for Everyone!
So, what can parents do? Go back to the basics! Kids want to play and have fun, it’s as simple as that! Parents need to do their best to foster a fun, fair, and positive environment for everyone. Let kids enjoy being kids.