Youth sports are a popular way for children to participate in healthy, athletic competitions that help build social skills, as well as build good habits for later in life. However, a number of misconceptions exist about them which should be corrected.
One misconception is that youth sports are all fun and games. This, unfortunately, is not always the case, especially if a coach or parents makes everything about themselves. Additionally, depending on the age of the participants, practices can tend to wear on, making the season seem quite long.
Another misconception is that all youth sports are expensive. This is untrue, as there are plenty of cost-effective sports leagues where parents can have their children play without breaking the bank. Some leagues even offer financial assistance or reduced pricing if a family is particularly destitute.
A third misconception is that coaches will treat all players fairly. While there are plenty of coaches who are great role models for their players, there are many more that are focused solely on winning, to the detriment of their young charges.
A fourth misconception is that a parent coaching their child is the best option. This works out in some cases, but not in all of them. Sometimes, having a parent coach their child can strain the relationship between the two, as the child might feel more pressure as the son or daughter of the team’s leader.
A fifth misconception is that all children have an equal shot in youth sports. Unfortunately, this is simply not true, as the more-athletic players are going to have a better chance of succeeding. Combine this with the previously mentioned desire by coaches to win at all costs, and the playing field is not leveled.
A sixth misconception is that parents always behave in a reasonable, rational fashion. This, unfortunately, is not always the case, as many go overboard in seeking playing time for their children or arguing with officials.
A seventh misconception is that everybody will pitch in to help. While parents may say that they would love to stay behind and clean up the field after the game or work at the snack bar, chances are they will not always follow through on these pledges.
An eighth misconception is that a child is a failure if they don’t see much playing time. As illustrated above, many factors go into how much a child plays, so any lack of action may not be totally the child’s fault.
This leads into a ninth misconception, which is that the season will finish how it starts. The best way for a child to force a coach to play them is to improve. Repeated practice will generate results, meaning that at least one aspect of playing time is in the hands of the child, and not decided by outside factors.
A tenth misconception is that preseason promises always come true. Although a coach may make a pledge before the season begins, chances are they won’t always keep it if something that betters the team comes along. As such, it is key that young athletes keep practicing and training as hard as they can so that a coach is compelled to follow through on any promises of playing time.
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