Think Again: Youth Sports on the Rise

July 28, 2011

With the economy being down and the cost of youth sports increasing you would think that youth participation numbers would be down. Add to that youth’s growing interest in technology and videogames you would think there is no way youth sports is more popular today. Well if you have the same though process as me you would be wrong!
Youth sports are bigger than ever today, as they should be. The main reason, in my opinion, is the rewards outweigh the costs. Now, besides the very obvious rewards, building a healthy body, and helping children develop a sense of what they can and cannot do, it can

1) Build Relationships– Some of the strongest relationships I have built within my life are those people I met playing sports, either with peers or coaches. Many of my friends have come just from having a common goal, usually trying to win, or sharing interests as other players on the team. Also, coaches can give guidance to the kids, while being a very persuasive role model.

2) Confidence– Through sports many individuals can gain confidence. I know personally sports have helped me develop confidence by placing me in challenging situations. I did not always succeed in these situations, but even my failures have helped me grow into confident young man, or that’s how I view myself.

3) Commitment– Youth sports can give a child a sense of commitment. Just by having the child show up each practice they will gain a sense of commitment. Then add in that kids are dedicated to a common cause and you can see how it helps them commit to a team, cause, or themselves.

4) Leadership– Now there are two types of leaders in my opinion and it differs with each person. The first is a vocal leader who helps get the team going. The second is leading by example. Both are very important to develop as a child.

5) Proficiency– Lastly, it helps children become more proficient. At each practice you have kids working on different aspects of the game (hitting/defense/shooting), and helps them develop skills to become more efficient.

These are only a few of the many skills your child could gain. I think it is obvious why sports are stilling growing. Hopefully, the skills that are established at a young age will continue to be applied when they grow up and can be taken into their careers as adults.


Small Ball

July 26, 2011

Little League baseball helps provide kids with an opportunity to learn skills such as teamwork, leadership, sportsmanship, along with many other skills. Little League has also helped to bring the community together to help our youth grow in a positive environment, but I believe lately we having being sending these youths the wrong message.

Think about this…. Around 30 years ago there was 1 All-Star team that consisted of 15 of the best players. When I was in little league there were two All-Star teams. This allowed for around 30 kids to play either on a 9-10 all star team or an 11-12 all star team. Now imagine that there is a renegade team, 9-10 team, hooligan team, 11 year old team, and a 12 year old team. Well if you can’t imagine that just go down your local ball park and you will see around 75 kids who make the All-Star team yearly.

Now many of you are probably asking yourself, how are more All-Star teams hurting our youth? I believe that by creating these extra “All-Star” teams, with average players, we have developed a system where kids are rewarded for participation rather than competition. Instead of being rewarded for being the best of the best, more and more kids are making the team because there are so many spots to fill!

The All-Stars used to consist of kids who spent extra time practicing and developing their skills, where now most kids make the team if they participated and showed up to every game. What will happen later in life when these kids get a job? Will they expect to get a promotion just for showing up to work? Will they believe that by accomplishing the minimal work they deserve recognition? Will they think that participating in daily work activities and not contributing to the company will lead to greater opportunities?

I would like to end by saying I think Little League is an awesome opportunity for kids to get out and learn quality skills, meet other children, and a great way to bring communities together. I do feel, however, that the All-Star teams need to make an adjustment back to rewarding those who truly deserve it. This will bring the spirit of competition back to our youth, help them strive to succeed and be the best, and hopefully, in the long run translate to their everyday lives. Leave me a comment if you like, I will try to respnd within 24 hours


Sports Managment

July 23, 2011

Many of you have probably already gathered that this blog will be about recreation and sports management and many people immediately relate this to some type of coaching. I am here to tell you that this topic covers a lot more than coaching and can include a wide range of athletics from professional, college, local leagues, sports associations and the representation of individual athletes. Also for people who are looking to somehow stay involved in sports as the careers end, such as mine if you count playing at the JC(Junior College) level, or if you are just looking for a job and are interested in sports there are numerous opportunities available. Sports directors, scouts, agents, and broadcasters are few jobs on the list amongst various others.

This blog will try to focus on the sports for local leagues, and how they help bring together a community and create a positive influence on young athlete’s lives, although at times some of my posts may be related to college athletics. You may want to follow this blog if you are into sports or looking to find a job somehow related to sports management. I will not be covering ANYTHING at the professional level because this area already draws so much attention in the media and I will not be blogging about my favorite team.

I believe that I can provide a unique perspective on this subject from being a former athlete and from the current/former college and professional athletes I know and gaining a little insight how they view some college policies, such as title nine, college athletes being paid, and the competitiveness of youth sports. Lastly I feel I should mention that I may be a little bias towards baseball since that is what most of the athletes I speak with are currently doing.