Wright Words: Are your kids playing sports for you or for them?

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  • Guillermo Sepulveda Lafayette, LA
    Oct. 28, 2012 12:22 p.m.

    I have been involved in youth coaching for over 35 years and here's what the research says. 70% of kids involved in youth sports will drop out at age 13 for 3 main reasons: 1. Unrealistic expectations of parents 2. Incompetent coaches 3. Adults taking the fun out of the sport. Sadly, the 3 main reasons are ADULTS. Read the book 'Game On' by Tom Farrey to see the sad state of youth sports in the US. This information,combined with the childhood obesity epidmic, couldn't be happening at a worse time.

  • Mr. Moots Salt Lake City, UT
    Oct. 24, 2012 9:27 p.m.

    Great article Jason.

    Little League Baseball was hijacked by the super leagues a long time ago. Other sports are hijacked by parent/coach ego maniacs who can't lose.

    The biggest lie in sports is "winning isn't everything, it is the only thing".

    We need to take back our lives. It is ok to miss practice to be with your family on a special event without losing your position or being blackballed. Tired of the joker coaches who are enforcing "college" type rules in grade school.

    If we all stick together than we can beat back the few nightmare coaches.

    Also, to the parents: You are the biggest problem. Stop demanding perfection from your kids and go look in the mirror. Are you perfect? No? Then love your kids for who they are!!!


  • Jace the Ace Stratford, CA
    Oct. 24, 2012 11:17 a.m.

    My wife and I have both noticed how intense the local leagues for soccer, baseball, football, etc. have become. I grew up participating in school sports but she did T-Ball and Softball in the city leagues. She is saddened by how intense these programs are for kids now. I think there are some benefits to playing sports. My youngest daughter did not want to play on the volleyball team at her school. I encouraged her to try it. She was worried that she wouldn't be good enough. In the end she tried it and had a wonderful time. It did wonders for her confidence. She wasn't the greatest player but she did ok and had fun. She was excited about it especially when they won their first game. I did something similar when the oldest daughter started high school. I told her that she needed to try new things and do something. I told her I prefered if she did at least one sport also. She chose tennis and has really enjoyed it. Once again she isn't a super athlete but I think she has learned a lot from the experience and her confidence grew.

  • J-TX Allen, TX
    Oct. 23, 2012 8:14 a.m.

    Right on, Jason. I am a lifelong gym rat. In my 50's I still play full court BB twice a week. I would have liked nothing better than to have a child who was into athletics.

    Their Mom and I insisted that they play one organized sport (their choice) per year through middle school, then it was up to them. I coached at least once for each kid, twice for most.

    There are 4 of them, 3 boys and a girl. All can ride a bike, all are good swimmers, none has a passion for organized team sports. (Sigh). But you know what? They remember that their Mom and I were there for every practice and every game, and still are for every math team competition, band and choir concert.

    I only have 2 left in the house, and my Senior will go on a mission right after graduation in June, leaving us with the baby, our beautiful and talented 15-year old daughter, the one who likes sports least. But she is the best swimmer and sings like an angel.

    Sports are overrated. Supports are not.