Youth sports might literally be child’s play, but for the adults who make the experience possible, it can feel like carrying the weight of the world. Coaches and parents alike often have to develop activities and routines that blend fun and safety as well as manage the potentially larger than life personalities of youth sports players, parents, and onlookers.
When the pressure that goes along with youth sports leadership begins to build up, it can be helpful to turn to others for advice or to share their stories, and in this day and age, the internet offers plenty of forums to do just that. If you’re a coach or the parent of a youth athlete, take a look at some of the best youth sports blogs online.
America’s largest advocate for positive, safe sports experiences for children, the National Alliance of Youth Sports (NAYS) offers resources for parents and coaches on their blog. In addition, NAYS also celebrates leaders and innovators in youth sports through a series of awards programs. While NAYS’ blogs has valuable insights for anyone, it mainly takes a top-down approach to its subject that emphasizes high level trends or ongoing debates rather than advice for coaches or parents.
With the goal of putting parents, coaches, and players on the same page, iSport360 focuses on providing resources that can help build communities from youth sports and manage their teams, which they accomplish by offering tools for players to set and meet appropriate, individualized goals. The articles—especially its series on The Chaotic World of Youth Sports—blend humor, heart, and firsthand experience to help parents create a positive experience for their children on the field. The blog also discusses current events inside the world of youth sports.
This is a blog of, by, and for youth sports parents who hope to encourage their fellow adults to use youth sports as a positive bonding and development experience for them and their children. The website includes articles on how parents can navigate difficult situations that may arise in youth sports, such as when their child may want to quit or may need support overcoming challenges, and there are also reviews of equipment, tips on balancing between youth sports and other facets of life, and even a podcast with special guest Drew Brees of the New Orleans Saints!
In his regular column in Forbes, Bob Cook breaks down youth sports as an institution and talks about trends ranging from the rise of massive youths sports complexes to the ongoing shortage of referees and how to respond to it. He also does a fantastic job highlighting the influence of college and professional sports on youth sports.