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Are Youth Sports Too Competitive?

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Year after year kids of all ages strap on their pads and put on their jersey dreaming about making the next game winning catch or hit a homerun to win the game but does anyone ever stop to wonder what the kids and teams do to succeed? As a 14 year old athlete that has played multiple sport all my life I have seen kids do some unbelievable things to win a game, don’t get me wrong I love the competition and mentality of sports more than the next guy, but when do we know we took it to far? I’ve played sports all my life mostly football, baseball, and wrestling and I’ve seen kids get kicked, spat on, slammed after the whistle is called, all to get that slight edge to help their team. Now I don’t think we should wrap football players in bubble wrap and make batters stand in a cage but I do think we should learn and know kids limits. The majority of kids being overused comes from the little leagues (ages 8-12), according to the CDC (center of disease control) kids aged from 6-14 have an annual number of about 3.5 million injury’s while for high school it’s 2 million and college about 250,000. what this shows is kids ages 6-14 are almost two times more vulnerable to injuries than colleges and high school athletes combined. You see the numbers but what causes this? The main reason for theses outrages number for kids is just lack of knowledge, to be a coach for little league baseball or football all one has to do is read a pamphlet and sign a disclaimer. This means coaches lack the knowledge to know the kids limits and stopping points, telling a kid “tell me when you can’t handle it anymore” isn’t doing much to help, the kids don’t want to disappoint the coaches. This is why I believe youth sports should be molded more for the kids and coaches should have a better understanding of what their young players can handle. 




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