Why play youth sports?

My last post was glorifying this new, nifty sport my boys are playing for the first time called basketball.  We are now four games and two practices into the season (which is half way – another reason to praise this sport, mainly because baseball is twice as long and seems to drag on forever).  My boys’ team is the shortest team in the 6 team league -theirs is the small fry team – and so their team rarely get the rebounds on either side of the basket, which means the other team scores a lot and their team scores a little.  The team doesn’t have a chance to win and it is pretty obvious to all who watch, but here is the important part: my boys are having fun.

They have a great coach who is positive and focused on playing as a team.  It also helps the league doesn’t keep score – it is a true learning league – but it is obvious when you lose 60 to 4, which has happened twice.

But here in lies the kicker, what really counts in youth sports: the one sport they don’t really like, the one that drags on forever, is the one sport they have always been on a winning team, a team that wins more than they loose.  Rumor has it 100 players didn’t return to our city Little League baseball this year. 100 players! That’s a lot in our little city.  Most parents give reasons like this: it is too competitive; the coaches only care about winning; my son sat more then he played; and so forth.

Here in lies they begged question: Why do we, parents, sign our kids up for youth sports? Is it because we our paving their way to high school stardom and college scholarships – both of which are for the lucky few?  Or is it because we want our kids to have fun learning more about a sport?

I played sports in high school. I’m also a woman.   Back then, girls weren’t sports stars in school, but I know a thing or two about pursuing a sports scholarship.  Getting scholarships is a very competitive business, and not a viable option for many.  This make me too much of a realist, but my boys play youth sports to learn and have fun.


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