- Lindsay Hofford
Five Big Problems with Sports for Kids in the US
Five big problems hurt our kids regarding youth sports in the US. There is a need for more money, injuries from overuse, helicopter parents, a drop in high school sports participation, and many low-income people.
The number of high school students who play sports has gone down for the first time in almost 30 years. A new study from the National Federation of State High School Associations surveyed all 51 states and found that overall football and basketball participation has decreased in the past year.
Girls' basketball and football have seen some of the most significant changes in participation over the past two years. Basketball had the most significant drop in total participation, while football decreased for a few years.
Even though the number of people playing sports went down, there were still a few big wins. For example, participants in girls' cross country increased by 45 percent in the last year.
Both baseball and softball had their worst years ever in the past year. Outdoor track for boys and girls also saw a significant drop in participation from the year before.
Overall, football was the biggest reason for the overall drop. Only 1,006,013 boys played 11-man football, the lowest number in the past 14 years.
There was a slight increase in the number of boys who played soccer and bowled together. This is probably because these sports are played in the winter and require a lot of teamwork.
Parents who follow their kids around like a helicopter are known for ruining their kids' sports experiences. Even though they might mean well, they can cause more harm than good. They might be the cause of some of the things millennials complain about the most.
In the 2000s, college administrators started using the term "helicopter parent" to describe a growing trend of overprotective parents. Even though the idea is familiar, many studies and books have shown how this kind of parenting doesn't work.
In sports, the gimmick is that helicopter parents take their kids to games and other events where they can't take part. That can make it harder for kids to choose between sports, lead to more injuries, and make them more likely to get tired of jokes before they even start playing.
At school, the same thing happens. Parents who are always around their kids or try to control every detail of their lives will spend a lot of money and have a lot of responsibilities. They help their kids with school projects, decisions about their health, and relationships. This way of raising a child can cause stress, a lack of trust in others, and a decreased ability to solve problems.
Young athletes are becoming more and more worried about getting hurt from overuse. Several things, such as lousy technique, equipment support, or insufficient rest, can cause them. These kinds of injuries can hurt and be hard to treat.
There are several ways to keep from getting hurt from overuse. Young athletes should try different sports, practice often, and wear the right gear to keep them safe. If they get hurt, they should see a doctor or a specialist in orthopedics. The injured athlete might be able to get better with physical therapy, medicine, or surgery.
It's essential to know how to treat overuse injuries as well as how to avoid them. Physical therapy, rest, and icing are all common ways to treat pain.
Athletes should tell their coaches and doctors about any minor aches and pains. Early on, many athletes don't pay attention to these signs, which could lead to more severe injuries.
Youth athletes are getting increasingly overuse injuries, but they can be stopped. Overuse injuries happen when bones and tendons are stressed over and over again.
Project Play, a study by the Aspen Institute, shows how much it costs to play sports. It found that the average family of four spent $700 a year on sports, while some paid as much as $35,000.
The survey found that kids from low-income families have more difficulty paying for youth sports. There could be more than one reason for this. One is that kids from low-income neighborhoods need more access to sports fields and other outdoor activities. Also, parents from homes with less money are more likely to have less time. They are more likely to have to work, take care of kids, and deal with other responsibilities.
Over the past few years, the cost of a child playing sports has gone up. This has made it harder for low-income families to keep up with their kids who play sports. In response, Major League Baseball, Dick's Sporting Goods, and Nike promised to make sports more available to kids from low-income homes.
Even though these promises are nice to hear, the truth is that these kinds of programs are usually less expensive than sports in the community. Also, kids from poorer families are less likely to have access to physical education.