Sports in Society: Issues and Controversies. Chapter 5 Sports and Children: Are Organized Programs Worth the Effort?. http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=gZ_wBAQSJdM.
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Sports and Children:
Are Organized Programs Worth the Effort?
Organized youth sports became popular when people realized that childhood development was influenced by the social environment and the experiences of children.
The parents of baby boomer boys in the 1950s wanted their sons to learn about life through sports.
Cultural expectations related to family life, childhood, and parenting have changed over the past four decades in neoliberal societies.
Neoliberal society = one in which individualism and material success are highly valued, and one in which there is a decline in publicly funded programs and services.
“Good parents” seek programs that use symbols of progressive achievement and skill development. These symbols constitute proof of their “moral worth.”
The success of children today is attributed to parents—as are the failures of children. This leads to many forms of excess in nurturing a child’s sport dreams.
The goals and purpose of youth sports vary depending on the type of sponsorship that exists.
make it impossible for many children to participate.
. . . a set ideas and beliefs emphasizing that the quality of the sport experience can be measured in terms of improved skills, especially in relation to the skills of others.
For many reasons, children today often see action sports as preferable to adult-controlled organized youth sports.
The culture of youth sports has changed dramatically over the past two generations
Relationships with authority figures
Learning formal rules and strategies
Systematic guidance by parents and coaches
Rule-governed teamwork and obedience to coaches required
Winning and personal achievement is important
Action and personal involvement
Interpersonal and decision-making skills
Cooperation and improvisation are required
Challenges, problem solving, and individual expression
Reaffirmation of friendships is importantDifferent experiences: Adult-controlled versus player-controlled sports
Organized youth sports involve formal rules and strategies developed by adults.
they cannot understand the team dynamics of competitive sports.
Eleven-year-olds on competitive club teams play too many games and don’t have enough opportunities to improvise on the field and develop a playing style and skills that make them unique.
Experts created a Youth Sports National Report Card and gave these grades:
1. Child-Centered Philosophy: D
2. Coaching: C
3. Health and Safety: C+
4. Officiating: B–
5. Parental Behavior/Involvement: D
Youth sports today have
This keeps children, even with mild (dis)abilities, on the sidelines.