Q1:Why are more and more kids quitting a sport each year?
A1:Many young kids are quitting their teams or hesitant to go into a sport because of the leg and brain injuries occurring in youth sports . According to Stanford Children's Health, “ More than half of the seven million sports and recreation-related injuries that happen each year in America are suffered by youths 5-24 years old.” With those statistics, parents are not only worried about the cost of the injuries, but they are worried about the children’s health. According to feature youth injuries in sports, “three high school football players in Alabama, North Carolina and New York have died, possibly due to football injuries” in the course of one week “When the risk of some injuries involves death we can see why their has been a decline in youth sports by 5.9% over the past 5 years” (Thompson). Perhaps its not the injuries thats causing the problem, perhaps its the lack of talent.
Q1: Are less talented kids being left out in youth sports?
A1: Kids who are more athletic are given more opportunities and the less athletic ones aren’t valued as much.. According to George Washington University sports management professor, Mark Hyman, “The system is now designed to meet the needs of the most talented kids… We no longer value participation. We value excellence” (Rosenwald). Kids who are more skilled are valued so the non talented spend a lot of time on the bench .With that being said, some states have rules on the amount of pressure parents can put on their children. “Massachusetts has a rule where parents “will not ‘force’ their children to play sports and will ‘promote the emotional and physical well-being of the athletes ahead of any personal desire [the parent] may have for [their] child to win’” (Miller). If all the states had this rule then the pressure that’s coming from the parents would be less and more kids would be able to enjoy the sport freely. While the less talented kids are being left out, how has the sportsmanship been taught for the youth.
Q1: How has sportsmanship been used in youth sports?
A1: Sportsmanship is essential when growing up playing in a youth sport. Having sportsmanship as a youth can stick with as you grow older. According to a survey done by a senior vice president and Chief Marketing Officer at Liberty Mutual Personal Insurance, "The value of sportsmanship is an essential part of developing youth athletes into responsible adults," (Storm). With that being said, Developing and learning good sportsmanship can also make you a more mature growing up. Coaches and parents have a big impact on youth sports and hold most of the responsibility when it comes to sportsmanship. According to the National Safe Kids Campaign, “Beyond supplying the equipment and throwing practice pitches in the back yard, many adults struggle with the responsible way to be supportive mentors to their budding athletes.” (Walter). When kids are not taught sportsmanship, they often rage and get upset about losses. This leads to kids not wanting to join a sport in the future and the leads to them dropping out of their teams. Injuries may be a problem but there has been programs to try and prevent these injuries.
Q1: What are some other alternatives to make youth football more safe?
A1: With all the injuries occurring there has been programs to try and prevent injuries such as brain and leg injuries from happening. Programs have been developed to try and prevent injuries occurring. “a new program called Safe Football is looking to lower or eliminate the number of head injuries by teaching kids a different way to play the game through a series of instructional camps” (Dobrowolski). By having these types of programs this might give parents who are overprotective a chance for their child to join a sport without having to worry about a major injury concerns. The Safe Football program also has been proven to be injury free. “We have a study at the University of Washington where the front seven on each side of the ball didn't have any concussions or stingers in the two years we were out there with them," (Dobrowolski). This study has proved that with the 2 years they were out there with them has hasn’t been a major injury so the Safe Program has done their part on making it Safe for the youth. The Safe Program has done their part to try and get youth sports going again have the parents been the real issue?
Q1:Are parents a problems when it comes to youth sports?
A1: Parents often bring problems and may be struggling financially when it comes to letting their child play a sport. Some unfortunate families don’t have the enough money to pay for their child to go do a sport. “Low-income mothers, who have traditionally not been associated with time-intensive, middle-class not only have more financial and day-to-day stress, but may also feel stressed that they don’t have the resources to keep up with intensive parenting expectations”(Schulte). Even if the child wants to play parents don’t have the money to pay for it. Not to mention, parents are also getting too involved in their child's game. “It’s the introduction of adult values into kids’ games,” says O’Sullivan, author of Changing the Game. “When I grew up, it was children competing against children. Now, more often than not, it’s adults competing against other adults through their children” (Ballard). Parents are missing the point of youth sports and bringing fun into it when they are bragging about their child.