For millions of parents, participation in youth sports programs is a labor of love. They pour hours and hours into planning practices, coaching teams, and taxiing their kids back and forth between games in order to make sure that their little ones have a positive experience on the field. But just because parents are committed to youth sports doesn’t mean that they don’t have problems with certain elements of the program: In fact, the youth sports blog I Love to Watch You Play recently published feedback they heard from parents on the things they hate about youth sports. Many answers touched on serious issues that can ruin the youth sports experience for both parents and children alike. Have a look at what they said they hate in youth sports.
Bad Behavior from Adults
Nothing was more of a sore subject for parents than misbehavior or inappropriate conduct from coaches and even from their fellow parents. A fair share of criticism went toward unprepared or lazy coaches—and it’s true that coaches rob kids of the best youth sports experience possible—but the majority of their frustration was directed at adults who are just mean.
These adults might yell and scream at players who don’t perform well, they might criticize their kids for how they did on the field, or they might stir trouble with other adults. This kind of behavior totally undermines the positive lessons that make youth sports such a positive experience for children. After all, how are kids supposed to have fun and learn confidence when they need to contend with abusive adults?
More than just the bumps and bruises that go hand-in-hand with any physical activity, parents specifically called out overuse injuries that stem from sports specialization. Also known as repetitive stress injuries, overuse injuries occur when youth athletes’ muscles and bones are constantly used in the same ways as the result of intensive training or play; the severity of this strain can lead to pain, reduced motor function in the affected area, and more. Unfortunately, overuse injuries are becoming more common as the result of the growing specialization and pro-level practice routines in youth sports today. Learn more about overuse injuries and what your son or daughter can do to avoid them.
The cost of participation in a league. The cost of uniforms and equipment. Pizza parties, either for celebration or consolation, and participation trophies. The price of youth sports has swollen in recent years, and since parents bankroll these activities for their kids, they’re none-too-happy about the increasing costs. In some areas, when you factor in extravagant expenses like private sports trainers and lavish vacations to compete in tournaments that some parents are willing to pay, the cost of participation in a single sport and for a single child can exceed $2,000.