The Growing Complexity of Youth Sports

I’ve learned a few things coaching youth sports (mostly basketball) in the last 7 years, and I thought I’d share some of my current perspective.

“Youth Sports” is not simple any longer.  It is a very complex collision of societal, cultural, and psychological forces. I’ve brought a very naive perspective to the table based primarily on my own experiences.  I use to believe that youth sports was a bastion of purity in competition, teamwork, and character building.  But it’s not like I remember.

As parents, the most important people in our lives are our kids.  This fundamental detail (and many others not discussed here) account for an amazing explosion of youth sports growth and dysfunction.  From year round leagues, to multi-million dollar facilities, to super elite camps, to sport specific tournament destinations, to rapidly escalating fees and time commitments, to massive amounts of angst exhibited every 4 months as the next club sport tryouts begin…If you are over 30, this isn’t the youth sports you grew up with.

I won’t address all areas in this piece, but thought I would start the discussion with a few things I have learned in the last 6-7 years coaching my two boys.  The posts that follow are the first few of a long list, and few ideas on what you can try in your journey as a volunteer coach.





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