With great interest, I read a front page story in the St. Paul Pioneer Press headlined “A generation on the sidelines” written by reporter Bob Shaw. This is the first in a four-part series about the declining participation rates in high school athletics. The report cites statistics that the participation rates in Minnesota have dropped in half in only one generation. The story was well-written and very interesting. I look forward to the rest of the series. Today’s story talked about the reasons for decline: hyper-competition at a young age, sports are time-consuming, sports are expensive and sports, in some instances, are not very fun.
The ending quote is the best. A parent/coach is quoted in the story saying “Parents have messed it up. We are all guilty.”
I wrote about many of these same concepts in BasketCases. If basketball is no longer fun, players will quit by age 15. The main reason, obviously, is youth parents and coaches who push their kids too much. Below is a link to today’s story. Take five minutes to read it and watch for the other stories in the series: