Swiftwater Journey

faith, culture, and growing up in a rapidly changing world

In Youth Sports, Players Are Playing for Fun – NYTimes.com February 15, 2010

Filed under: Adolescence,Parenting — billmacphee @ 12:16 pm
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In Youth Sports, Players Are Playing for Fun – NYTimes.com.

I like what Mark Hyman writes about kids and sports. The article also mentions Positive Coaching Alliance (PCA), whose stated goal is “transforming youth sports so sports can transform youth.”

Kids play sports mostly to have fun, which is easily lost on us parents as we impose our competitive goals on our children. PCA hosts a number of workshops which have helped youth sports organizations become places where kids excel not only at their chosen sport but also in character development.

We claim we are all about character development, but often our drive to see kids excel blurs the lines between our agenda and what is ultimately good for our young athletes. Do you remember the days when you gathered your friends and agreed to meet at the playground after school for a pick up game of football or baseball? No uniforms, no coaches, just choosing sides and playing till the sun went down. Many kids don’t share this memory and feel somewhat uncomfortable organizing a game without some kind of adult initiative.

Youth sports, when run well, produce great good for kids, but adults must be clear about our desired outcomes, and able to self regulate when egos and schedules get over blown. I commend Positive Coaching Alliance to you, but also just scooting kids outside to play once in a while.

 

Connect with Kids : Weekly News Stories : “Teens Drop Sports” January 18, 2010

Filed under: Adolescence,Parenting — billmacphee @ 8:36 pm
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According to the National Alliance for Youth Sports, 73 percent of kids drop organized sports by age 13. Why?

“The pressure really becomes too much, and after a while they really become disillusioned with the entire sports scene, and get tired of it and finally say, ‘That’s it for me.'” Dr. Richard Winer, a psychiatrist in metro-Atlanta.

The girls now try out for the school plays. Their advice to parents about sports: “It’s not like life or death situations. It’s just a game,” says Katie.

According to experts at the American Volleyball Coaches Association (AVCA), children’s main motives to participate in sports and compete are:

  • To have fun;
  • To improve skills;
  • To be with friends; and
  • To improve health and fitness.

In addition, experts at the AVCA say some of the major reasons for sports dropouts are:

  • Overemphasis on winning;
  • Not having fun;
  • Stress of competition; and
  • Disliking the coach.

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