Youth Sports: You’ve Lost Your Minds
July 10, 2015
Rant time: Here it is 1:30AM and I’m reading once again about a complex in Georgia with “state of the art” fields that include some things even more than what is available at the Major League Baseball level! To go along with it are some complaints from parents about what they consider to be “nickel and dime” efforts but one of the organizations and some of these parents claim it is simply a matter of business. Well, I got news for you.. somebody is making big money off of kids and it’s wrong. In fact, there are a lot of people making money off of kids. And it’s wrong!
There has been a lot of talk recently about how many major athletes were “multi-sport athletes.” Female athletes such as the members of the Women’s Soccer National Team and male athletes such as NFL players and MLB players. There has been tons of research that demonstrates overuse injuries are through the roof in youth sports and much of that is due to “specialization” in athletics. But rather than parents listening to Dr. Andrews or other top medical professionals in the world with regards to sports specialization and injuries, parents choose to listen to coaches. Coaches who in many cases are making money off your kids. Don’t forget that!
College coaches want to claim that they want multi-sport athletes. But then you see those very same coaches showing up at their sport event when their sport is in the offseason… how does that promote “multi-sport participation?” I would sincerely doubt that the baseball coach who is claiming he wants multi-sport athletes is being truthful when he shows up at those baseball showcases in October and December. If kids are expected to be at those events, then how can they play another sport?
But this is not a single sport problem. This is a nearly all sport problem! Did you know gymnastics starts as early as 3 years old? For several hours per week??? Cheerleading does the same. Soccer starts travel leagues before kids are 10! Baseball does it too! Soccer plays year-round and if they could play 13 months a year, they certainly would! Volleyball is just as bad. Many girls start club volleyball within weeks of their school season ending, and then continue playing until just weeks before their school season starts the next year.
Where does it end???