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Youth Sports: Are the Kids Really Having Fun?
American Academy of Pediatrics Report
- Have fewer sports-related injuries
- Be more consistent performers
- Participate in sports for a longer period of time
Positive Steps for Parents
Evaluate the Benefits and Potential Harm
- Is the activity fun?
- Does my child have friends on the sports team or group?
- Is my child participating because they enjoy doing so?
- Does my child look forward to going to practice and/or games?
- Am I pressuring my child to participate in a sport or athletic activity?
- Am I deriving more enjoyment or fulfillment from my child's athletic activities than my child is?
- While praising your child for and pointing out the benefits of winning, stress the greater importance of simply enjoying the activity.
- Applaud your child's good efforts.
- Ask your child if his team won, but only in addition to questions such as: "What was the best part of the practice or game? " or "Did you have fun?"
- Do not pressure your child. Instead, offer to help your child practice and improve his skills.
Evaluate the Coach and the League
- Is the coach putting too much pressure to win on my child and his teammates?
- In addition to giving proper athletic training, is the coach teaching good sportsmanship and proper and acceptable behavior?
- Is the coach pushing the children beyond the physical limitations appropriate for their age?
- Does the coach emphasize a team effort by working toward a common goal?
- Does the coach yell or belittle team members when they make mistakes?
Show Good Sportsmanship Yourself
American Academy of Pediatrics www.healthychildren.org
National Alliance for Youth Sports http://www.nays.org
Health Canada http://www.hc-sc.gc.ca
Public Health Agency of Canada http://www.phac-aspc.gc.ca
The American Academy of Pediatrics Committee on Sports Medicine and Fitness. Intensive training and sports specialization in young athletes. Pediatrics. 2000;106:154-157.
Being a good sport (spectator): A quick guide for parents. American College of Sports Medicine website. Available at: http://www.acsm.org/access-public-information/articles/2012/01/13/being-a-good-sport-(spectator)-a-quick-guide-for-parents. Published January 13, 2013. Accessed October 21, 2013.
Choosing a sports program. American Academy of Pediatrics Healthy Children website. Available at: http://www.healthychildren.org/English/healthy-living/sports/Pages/Choosing-a-Sports-Programs.aspx. Updated August 1, 2013. Accessed October 21, 2013.
Parenting my champion: getting started. Institute for the Study of Youth Sports at Michigan State University website. Available at: http://www.educ.msu.edu/ysi/parents/USTA%5Fparent%5Fchecklist.pdf. Accessed October 21, 2013.
What makes a good coach? Nemours Kids Health website. Available at: ttp://kidshealth.org/teen/food%5Ffitness/sports/good%5Fcoach.html. Accessed October 21, 2013.
- Reviewer: Michael Woods, MD
- Review Date: 10/2013
- Update Date: 10/21/2013