Is it okay for my child to be heavily involved in youth sports?
Margot Starbuck encourages parents to ask these questions when allowing their child to be involved in youth sports.
What is the motivation?
“Why are we doing this, what’s the result that we’re after? If you have that conversation as a family, you might find some decent motives, enjoying time with friends, staying active, having fun.”
However, not all motivations are healthy.
“If we’re really willing to be honest, I think there is pressure to keep up with other kids. I think there’s a fear of being left out, and there is this business of earning the scholarship.”
All families should have a healthy discussion about why they are involved the way they are. Also, families should also discuss how much time and money they are willing to commit to sports.
Margot says that someone she knew spent over $18,000 over the course of one of his daughter’s soccer seasons.
“Families that are making $50,000 are spending more than 10% of their annual income on new sports. It has really gotten out of control.”
How involved should parents be?
“There is value in parents not staying at practice, there’s value in parents occasionally missing a game, because that allows for the sport to be your child’s, space to let it be their own thing, and it keeps parents from getting over-involved.”
Perhaps most importantly, missing a game or two shows your child that sports aren’t the highest priority.
“It communicates to your athlete, to their siblings, that this isn’t the center of our family’s life.”