Essay on Put the Fun Back into Youth Soccer

3639 Words15 Pages
Abstract: Youth Soccer has recently evolved into a fiercely competitive arena. More and more children are leaving recreational leagues to play in highly competitive select leagues. While select sports are a valuable resource where children can learn how to socialize and become self motivated, children who start at young ages, ten and eleven, can suffer psychological and physical damages. A child's youth sporting experience is directly influenced by the attitudes, sportsmanship and behavior of their parents and coaches. Parents and coaches who pressure their children to be the best and not play their best are responsible for the high teenage drop out rate. By eliminating the "winning is everything" attitude, looking at the…show more content…
The pressure to be the best can harm children who are at such an impressionable age. A child's youth sports experience is directly affected by coaches and parents and their comments, sportsmanship, attitudes, and behaviors. The idea of "select" or "all-star" leagues is in direct contradiction with the philosophy under which youth sports were started. The American Youth Soccer Association, ASYO, was founded in 1964 on the principle that everyone plays and that the teams should be balanced (Engh 36). Select soccer teams hold tryouts in order to place the best players on one team. The tryouts themselves can be stressful and devastating for those who get cut. For many children this is their first experience with organized competition and not making a team can cause them to think that they aren't good enough and that they've failed. The kids who don't make a select team their first year at tryouts may never tryout again because they figure they weren't good enough the first time around. What ever happened to the " if at first you don't succeed, try, try again" mentality? Sadly it's been replaced with a more pessimistic one, " only the best will succeed". Select leagues have their place in youth sports, but ten and eleven year old children should not be worrying about having to make a team or if they are ever going to get to play, they should be having fun, developing basic skills, and experiencing personal growth. "At

More about Essay on Put the Fun Back into Youth Soccer

Open Document