Concerns about safety and increased urbanization have led to a larger role for organized sports. The associated costs with organized sports leave parents feeling the need to get their money's worth. This desire to gain value can translate into too much emphasis on skills development and wins without leaving kids the necessary time for fun. To keep things in perspective, parents need to ask themselves what it is they are buying with their organized sports fees.
If the goal of youth sports is to build the best kids possible, then parents will want to spend their money in ways that:
- Keep their child playing for as long as possible.
- Give their child the most self-confidence.
- Generate the best long term memories for their child.
- Do not take away from other more important commitments such as school and family.
- Help improve their child's abilities to relate well with other kids and adults.
- Teach their child important life lessons such as teamwork and improvement through practice.
Trying to equate skills and wins with monetary value seems like a simple test. However, keeping the larger picture in perspective gives kids the best chance at having fun and thus the best chance for a long and successful youth sports experience.