The Purpose of Youth Sports: It’s All About Perspective
By Kids In Sports
Posted December 9, 2017
The purpose of youth sports should be as much about learning sustainable life lessons as it is about winning games. Back in the day, life lessons for kids were developed through neighborhood pickup games, and now these fun, playful healthy games are being replaced by highly organized result oriented leagues. Overly-high expectations of very young kids are becoming the norm. Because of specialization and professionalism, burnouts and over-use injuries are on the rise and kids are dropping out of organized sports in record numbers. Seventy percent of kids are quitting by age 13.
Is this the purpose of youth sports? To sour kids on the idea of signing up for their favorite sport because they have figured out that adults have a way of turning it into a job? Kids are very intuitive and many times will say nothing until the damage has been done.
We all want the best for our kids, but it’s easy to lose track of what our child wants, and instead impose our own ambitions at the expense of our child’s enjoyment. It’s easy to get ahead of ourselves by focusing on the future instead of just enjoying every moment of our kids sports experience now. If we would just let them develop based on their own interest level and true abilities, things would be different.
It’s the responsibility of parents and coaches to educate themselves about what it takes to integrate proper training technique with having fun. Finding this balance is the key to success in youth sports. If this is accomplished, kids will start to realize their full potential because they are enjoying the process. They will be able to see and follow their honest path whether it is in sports or some other activity. When a young athlete stops enjoying the process, it’s the beginning of the end of their sports journey.