Commentary: Youth sports are too harsh

Parents can make athletics too competitive

Youth sports have gotten out of control.

In the past few years, youth sports have morphed from a fun activity with friends to grueling practices everyday and exhausting tournaments every weekend. 

Youth sports are meant to encourage children to exercise, make new friends, and overall to learn what it means to work as a team. But now, all kids seem to want is a college scholarship, and some are forgetting what sports are really meant to be. 

Early college recruitment is a long and stressful process, especially for children. Coaches believe that the earlier their players are recruited, the more on top they are of the competition. 

To get to this level for recruitment, players must practice every day for several hours, and participate in games and tournaments every weekend.  

A four hour practice everyday is unreasonable for an 11 year old, and the long practices may ruin their ability to excel in a sport. 

These kids could be hanging out with friends and family, but instead they are practicing basketball.

These kids could be hanging out with friends and family, but instead they are practicing basketball.

— Diana Jones

The chance of actually “making it” in a sport is appealing, but is also very slim, and likely is not worth ruining a childhood. 

Sports can also have a negative effect on their school life. 

Many players miss several days of school to participate in their sports, and all of these days added up can have a detrimental effect on their academics.

In addition to missing school, players may also be very tired from late games and practices. This can lead to students having difficulties paying attention and in turn can negatively affect their performance in school.  

Sometimes, a kid doesn’t even like the sport they’re playing. Intense parents can drain drain the fun out of sports, and they can put too much pressure on their children.  

It can be uncomfortable when a parent criticizes their kid in public. Or when parents yell at the coaches for “coaching wrong.”

I understand that some youth really do love the sport they play, but the sport may not be worth ruining a childhood. .  

Sports are meant to be enjoyed, but today’s society has made youth sports too competitive and intense.