Psychosocial Aspects Of Youth Sports

1280 Words6 Pages
Kala Bland, LaShawn Couey, Madison Grubbs, Jennifer Little

Psychosocial Aspects of Youth Sport Interviews

The world of youth sports continues to grow considerably. This growth has brought many aspects of it including its psychosocial effects on children into question, as well as sparked debate regarding some of its practices. To discuss some of these psychosocial aspects we interviewed four people, two of which have coaching experience in the United States, one with international coaching experience, and another who has two children in youth sport with a small coaching background. The topics we discussed with them were physical and mental aspects of youth sport, the dueling objectives debate, and parental involvement in youth sport. One
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One specific area that the coaches talked about was parents restricting young athletes to one sport instead of allowing them to diversify. One coach said, “I believe that playing more sports as a young athlete only helps them become a better athlete. I am allowing my kids to play multiple sports. Kids don’t really know what they really want or what’s best for them, so they need to play, play, play.” This is one of the many indications of the shift in parental involvement in youth sport. One shift was from allowing kids to play to controlling their play, and another is the change of the parents’ goals for allowing their kids to play sports. Another coach also said that “parents used to let their kids play sports to have fun because the kids wanted to play. However, now parents place so much emphasis on skill development, promoting their kid, playing time, etc. that it has taken a lot of the childish fun out of youth sports and replaced it with expectation, responsibility, and parental intervention.” This “hothouse” parenting is at the root of the negative effects that can be caused by youth sports, as discussed in the previous paragraph. However, the coach with international experience disagrees with the sampling method. They are in favor of institutions like the IMG Academy and say, “I like them and I would like to have one myself. I think that’s the way things are going for athletes. That’s how it is overseas.” The conflicting opinions on this topic show us that the debate continues with many sides to consider. What is popular in one country isn’t popular in another. The common theme is that parents have a significant role in the the sampling or specialization
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