Almost every person has witnessed the intense soccer mom or extreme dad cheering on their child in a sport. Starting children too soon in competitive sports and becoming crazed about their performance can harm the child physically and mentally. Becoming burned out too soon and thinking that the sport is more like a job than learning the basic skills and having fun can create emotional distress for the child and make them unmotivated not only in their sport but in other life situations like working hard in school work.
Parents who start children early in sports usually think if they can begin early, they will master skills in performance in get a scholarship in high school. Robert Malina, director of the Institute of Youth Sports at Michigan State University, says parents would be better off putting the money they spend on travel teams into a saving account. So much money can be blown with tournaments, gear, and spirit wear that this money is usually seen as wasted. According to the National Center for Education Statistics, less than 1% of kids participating in organized sports today will be good enough to land a college scholarship. This leads me to think, what’s the point of all of it?
Sports at a young age should be just a fun experience to expose children to different types of sports that they could be interested in when they grow up and get into high school. Parents needs to know that cheering for their child and encouraging them to do their best is fine, but people act in an unsportsmanlike way children will want to quit and give up.