Study finds that parental spending on kids’ sports may be misguided

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  • eagle Provo, UT
    June 8, 2014 12:08 p.m.

    I said what I said as a high school coach of four decades and a former college athlete. What we are doing with sports specializing, year-round leagues isn't helping our athletes get any better. Sometimes it takes quite a bit to unravel the effects of bad super league coaching in both the bad techniques taught and restoring the love of the game. And for many of these youth sports participants, the joy of the game is lost and they quit these games forever. Unfortunately, many kids in neighborhoods don't even know how to do sandlot games.

  • calme north logan, UT
    June 4, 2014 11:21 p.m.

    Every parent and youth coach should read the following books when deciding what to do with their children's youth sport experience.

    Coaching Outside the Box: Changing the Mindset in Youth Soccer

    The Talent Code

    Parenting Young Athletes the Ripken Way: Ensuring the Best Experience for Your Kids in Any Sport

  • Confused Sandy, UT
    June 4, 2014 7:48 a.m.

    NH Transplant...

    That is great that your children were able to well rounded (assuming you were responsible) and understood the principle's that you mentioned.

    As an sports official for the past 25 years, I think the article is talking about those parents that live through their kids in sports. Intense pressure is put on the kid to perform to "their" level expectation. They drive their kids more and more...only to see them burn out and leave sports all together.

    I have seen families who use sports as a way to bond, have fun and enjoy the experience of playing sports. I am sad to say those are far and few between.

  • Nan BW ELder, CO
    June 4, 2014 7:38 a.m.

    I agree. My husband and I made way too many mistakes in child rearing, but we didn't make this one. I am so grateful. We tried to provide them with a few team sports opportunities, but we never made it a big thing. We did emphasize acquiring a good basic education (Carden Memorial School helped with that), and they all ended up with academic scholarships. Now varying philosophies are in play with grandchildren, but they are also doing well with academics and seem to be headed in the right direction. Best of all, our children are better parents than we were!

  • NH Transplant HEBER CITY, UT
    June 3, 2014 10:25 p.m.

    Five of my children played college sports. Two on athletic scholarship and three played for college club teams. Four were multi-sport athletes in high school and enjoyed playing. I am glad that we allowed our children to experience multiple sports and develop a love of playing.

    There were times that playing on a club team did get in the way of family time but there were also times that the club coach was told our children would miss some training time and games. Fortunately most of those club coaches understood the importance of family time and the need for players to have summer time with families outside of the sport. I am not sure if club coaches today are as understanding.

    Playing is fun and fun should always be the most important reason to play. All of us will not be college athletes, some of us will, but we should all have fun playing whatever sport we choose to play.

  • K Mchenry, IL
    June 3, 2014 6:07 p.m.

    Basically you spend thousands per year and most free time for your child to earn a scholarship. If you are lucky. However participation on teams is required along with performing well in school once in college. Basically a sports scholarship is just part time college job to help for the cost of college. The scholarship money is in exchange for their time and effort while students in the college. Instead let them just play the sport but don't be over the top or excessive about time and money. Save and invest the difference and they can go to school with far less financial burden and freedom to study or get a more stable year round part time job. Activities are good, they lead to better academic performance. They keep the body moving.

  • delsur charlotte, NC
    June 3, 2014 9:39 a.m.

    If your family loves sports & being active with other families that also enjoy team sports - it is very rewarding - for the entire family. Our family is having great experiences with club and school sports!
    We use the following seven words before the competition to our children: 1. Have fun. 2. Play hard. 3. I love you. Simple words that puts no pressure on your child, no correction, no judgment, just pure love of your child using their gift in competition.
    After the competition we ask them: 1. Did you have fun? 2. I'm proud of you. 3. I love you.
    It is more than the money invested. It is fun! Win or lose it is fun! The bonus is staying healthy with exercise!

  • eagle Provo, UT
    June 3, 2014 8:38 a.m.

    Yes, one would be shocked that most athletes in professional and college sports were multi-sport athletes who didn't specialize all year long in just one sport. Most of the major league players actually didn't play Super Leagues. In fact, more and more players are coming from Latin America who play the sport for fun but with passion. They actually play on dirt fields with sticks rather than with fancy equipment with fancy uniforms with overbearing parents.

    Yes, I will await the posters that says specializing works, my son got a scholarship, this is all great family time etc. I mean 1% or actually less make it professionally and 3% or so play college ball. But I had a heckuva lot more fun playing sandlot ball than organized ball and learned a few lessons in life. We had to work things out, play fair, resolve issues or your friends wouldn't want you back. We didn't need adults to solve issues, or rather act like jerks yelling at the umpires, which we didn't need, or at each other. Youth organized sports has too many coaches who don't know what they are doing causing burnout and overuse injuries.

  • Red San Antonia, TX
    June 3, 2014 8:34 a.m.

    Totally agree.

    Invest the money in a college savings account. Stop buying into the hype and guilt associated with kid sports.

    Spend time as a family and have dinner together. Go on a bike ride and on a hike.

    Say NO to over the top coaches. Don't let them manipulate you into selling your family out.

    Also, College sports are not all they are cracked up to be. You miss out on so many other opportunities that the trade off is just not worth it.

    Free yourself from all of this nonsense and choose to be happy and love life!