By David Tepera, August 14, 2019
Recently, I read a study of how the participation in youth sports is down 39 percent over the past many years. I do understand several factors could be involved, from single parenting to finances.
As you all know, I was a single parent for more than 15 years of two kids. They were in second and fourth grade when all this took place. Yes, there were many challenges, but since I was raised in an athletic environment, I wanted my children to have the same experiences.
In today’s world, kids are locked up on their phones and laptops thinking that social media are their friends. We are losing our kids to understanding the importance of socializing in the real world. It is the only way to become independently successful, and not a cyberbully.
So, what are the benefits of youth sports? At an early age, kids learn that it takes practice to improve skills, lessons from losing and failing, the joy of victory, success through teamwork, getting back up after falling and the list is endless. It’s no secret, all these lessons will carry over into adulthood.
People who’ve played sports develop a competitive spirit that will help catapult them into our society’s workforce. Typically, that’s who you call a boss or owner. If you don’t like it, reignite your competitive self and begin the journey to control your own destiny.
Now, for those of you who have challenges to get your kids involved in youth sports, here’s my best suggestion. Look into your city’s parks and recreation department. The youth leagues are the least expensive, practice only one hour on one day out of the week, with all games on Saturdays.
As parents, you’ll develop friends with other teammates’ parents, where some carpool to help get kids to and from practice or games. Through each season, I personally made new friends, as they all stood on the sidelines cheering for everyone. I felt fortunate because I was typically the head or assistant coach. I wanted to make sure every kid had a great experience, along with equal playing time.
There were times where one of my children’s teammates had physical challenges. It was heart warming to watch kids learn to help someone who might seem less fortunate to have the same experiences.
So, my lesson today is for you to find a way to help get our kids back involved with society. They are our future and must learn the importance of getting along with others and contribute to making this world a better place. Maybe, it can all start by having fun playing youth sports.