Things to Know 

1

Physical Activity is a "Super Drug" 

If your child is stressed out, anxious, angry, overweight, unhappy, needs friends, or struggling with academics, then physical activity and organized sports can help. There are so many benefits surrounding physical activity and sports that are beneficial to the development of your child and overcoming challenges.

2

Signs and Symptoms of Burnout

  • Performance has declined

  • Struggling with school work or focus

  • Loss of interest and motivation in sports

  • Emotional changes, moodiness, irritability and disinterested in sports

  • Change in self-esteem and/or increased anxiety

Monitor your child, if your child shows you the signs of burnout, investigate the situation and look to make changes to benefit your child.

3

Physical Activity, Exercise, and Academics

When our youth have a positive connection between sport, exercise, and education they can have positive impacts on self-esteem, confidence, concentration, thinking skills, and achievement, while also having increased interaction with teachers, parents, and friends. 

4

American Youth Sports by the Numbers

45 million youth participate in organized sport

75% of households with school-age children have at least one child participating in organized sport.

35% of youth athletes quit each year 

70% of children stop playing by age 13

20% of youth coaches are trained

2.4 million Emergency Room visits each year from youth sports

5

Sport Specialization

The research shows that there is no benefit for sport specialization for children before they reach puberty. Research also shows that high school athletes are 50% more likely to have injuries to feet, ankles, knees, and hips than athletes that play in multiple sports. Athletes need to play multiple sports and allow time for the body to rest and heal from one sport season to the next.

6

Have Fun or Win?

When surveyed, “Having Fun” is the main reason that most children like to participate in sports; however, the parent’s perception of why their children like to play sports is to “Win."  A study looked at the importance of winning from the child’s perspective and found that it varied with gender and age, but for the majority of younger children, fairness, participation, and development of skills ranked above winning.

7

Chances of Your Child Going Pro

According to the NCAA, 7.3 million children play high school athletics. Only 6% will play sports in college.  Of all the players in college sports, only 2% will play professional sports.  The pressures of long term success on our youth may not be worth it while only so few will make it beyond high school sports.

8

Define Success

Sports should serve your child and not the other way around. When choosing where to sign up your child to play sports you need to find a good fit for your child. Primarily you should find out information about the level of play, coaching style, and values of the organization.  Children play sports to have fun and that should remain true for the child at every level of play. For a child in sports, success should be a balance between physical fitness, mental wellbeing, and lifelong lessons for a healthy and active lifestyle.

Children who play multiple sports are more likely to find enjoyment in sports and are more likely to continue to play sports into adulthood. While those who specialize in a single sport are less likely to enjoy sports and continue to participate in sports as an adult.

9

More Sports,

More Fun

10

Long Term Benefits

 

While in the moment winning or losing may seem very important, in the big picture it matters very little. We need to take the approach of physical activity and sports are serving our children. Every practice or contest may be an opportunity for your child to grow as a person while being physically active.  Keeping sports fun will keep kids in the game and that needs to be a primary focus of parents.  Continuing a positive connection to being active is vital in the development of our children, as the habits and enjoyment now can create a lifetime of healthy habits.