Parents



 

A 2005 Study by the University of Notre Dame found that:

•    36% of youth reported that coaches yelled at them during a game
•    26% of youth reported that coaches urged them to retaliate
•    48% of youth reported that coaches yelled at the referee
•    68% of youth reported seeing spectators yell at referees
•    43% of youth reported being teased by a fan

The innocence and joy of American Youth Sports has been corrupted. Rarely do kids get to "play” sports anymore. Instead, they get to "work” sports, a movement caused by the misguided notion that our kids need to specialize early and win at all costs to get that college scholarship and justify the investment made in youth athletics. The romance is gone, the fun is gone, and sports are no longer play.





As a result, 70% of young athletes are dropping out of
organized sports before they reach high school.





"Some children quit because of financial hardship, others because they acquire other interests, but many children quit because sports is no longer fun."


  
" Parents fear that if their children fall behind any other child starting at age four and progressing all the way into adolescence…this notion of "keeping up” affects parental behavior at games in the worst ways. Parents apparently believe that screaming from the sidelines helps children perform better. It does not."

Changing the Game, John O’Sullivan

Second Nature Soccer, Steve Locker
Former Harvard Men’s Soccer Coach

(Read more from John O'Sullivan...)
( Read more from Steve Locker ...)




Make sense of it all.

If your child is participating in sports, you have likely felt the pressure to make the best decision for their future. This pressure can stem from a variety of things. Possibly you wonder if you don’t place your child in a competitive club at an early age they may never have the opportunity later. What age do you introduce them to that pressure cooker of try outs? How much time and money should you be spending on one sport versus multiple sports versus education versus time with the family? What impact will all of this have on my child as they grow older? 

SAY Soccer was founded on the belief that all children should be able to learn the game of soccer in a safe environment that provides maximum participation. We continue to believe that sports should be first and foremost FUN however, the sports landscape is changing.  Youth clubs, not just soccer clubs, are becoming more and more professionalized and adult centered. Many organizations are employing several levels of management and directors adding to the ever increasing cost to the parents and expectations on the kids. 

Some say this direction is positive and will yield stronger young adults. Some say the rising cost and commitment is a trend that should be reversed to bring some balance to youth sports. 

However you may feel about the topic, SAY Soccer has assembled an ever growing library of resources to assist you in making healthy decisions when choosing a sports organization or club for your kids.

Please feel free to contact SAY National with your comments or suggestions, (800) 233-7291 or dwood@saysoccer.org 


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