May 5, 2014
LOSER PARENTS LIVING VICARIOUSLY:
How parents are ruining youth sports : Adults should remember what athletics are really about. (Jay Atkinson, MAY 04, 201, Boston Globe Magazine)
Not long ago, I was invited to speak at the annual banquet for an "elite" youth hockey organization. Before dinner, the organization's president mentioned how he and his neighbor, another hockey dad, had seen the need for a top-tier program in their area, and how much planning and money it had required to create one. He rhapsodized about the championships his teams had won in their first two years of operation. He also said his 6-year-old son and his neighbor's boy were hockey-crazed best friends -- or at least they used to be. His neighbor's son was not selected for the mite team that first year, and the two men and their boys had not spoken to each other since.In brief, that's exactly what's wrong with youth sports. Too much money, too much parent involvement, and too many brokenhearted 6-year-olds. (Not to mention too many well-meaning adults who have no clue about all of the above.) [...]Three out of four American families with school-aged children have at least one playing an organized sport -- a total of about 45 million kids. By age 15, as many as 80 percent of these youngsters have quit, according to the Open Access Journal of Sports Medicine. One reason is the gap between the child's desire to have fun and the misguided notion among some adults that their kids' games are a miniature version of grown-up competitions, where the goal is to win.
Posted by Orrin Judd at May 5, 2014 2:38 PM