The Pressures of Youth Sports: Are We Pushing Too Hard?

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The Pressures of Youth Sports: Are We Pushing Too Hard? Norman A. Fisher, Jr. Lasell College . Abstract This paper explores eight published articles that discuss pressures of youth sports. The articles, however, vary in their definitions and uses of pressure. C.W. Nevius suggest that the pressure is applicable to the coaches and the kids. (Nevius, 2000) Kelly Wallace (Wallace, 2005), Tom Kuyper (Kuyper), Ken Kaiserman (Kaiserman), Jacqueline Stenson (Stenson, 2004), IU News Room (Room, 2013) and Larry Lauer, Ph.D. suggest that there are various factors that place pressures on all aspects of youth sports. This paper examines how some of these various factors affect the pressures of youth sports and answer that question: Are We Pushing Too Hard? Youth sport is becoming more than a day at the field or the gymnasium. It is a way of life. To many it may be the important fabric of a children’s upbringing and socialization into adulthood. Many parents, coaches and athletes feel that the pursuit of excellence in sports is valuable and teaches many life lessons. Youth sports are also viewed as a means to develop one’s athletic talents. Many youth train diligently in the hopes of playing in an all-star game, starting in a varsity sport, being pursued by collegiate and professional scouts, or becoming a collegiate, and possibly, a professional athlete. The parent is very important in this talent development process. Yet, many parents are viewed by coaches, players, administrators and the media as obstacles that children have to overcome to be successful. (Larry Lauer) Most parents have good intentions and want the very best for their child including the opportunity to have fun, be safe, and be successful. The number of abusive parents is very small. Unfortunately, you see many parents doing things such as pressuring

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