When and Why Youth Sports Went Off the Rails

Show Notes

Learn in this podcast when and why youth sports changed into a commercialized business that is detrimental to children.

The HISTORY of youth sports in the US

Dr. Jordan retraces the history of youth sports starting from the early 1900s through today. 

This history includes influences such as worries about immigrant children roaming the streets unsupervised, the depression, the new pay-for-play model that emerged post-depression, the self-esteem movement, the rising cost of a college education and the dream of attaining a college scholarship, the advent of travel leagues and showcase events, and the early specialization in a single sport movement.

Parental fears that drive club sports

Dr. Jordan also describes the fears parents experience about their children getting behind other kids as far as athletics which drives up their intensity, anxiety, and willingness to forfeit family time for tournaments and travel teams. 

Will your daughter receive an athletic scholarship to college?

Dr. Jordan also lays out the facts about how few athletes attain division 1, 2, and 3 scholarships for sports, and how few of high school athletes actually play sports in college and make the professional levels.

Make conscious choices about youth sports that are in the best interest of children

Dr. Jordan encourages parents to make conscious choices about athletic teams and coaches and sports based on their child’s and family’s needs and to avoid making choices to keep up with their peer’s experiences.

Some articles for you to read for more in-depth information on this topic:

When did competitive sports take over American childhood? 9-20-13https://www.theatlantic.com/author/hilary-levey-friedman/

https://time.com/4913687/how-kids-sports-became-15-billion-industry/ how your child’s rec league turned into a $15 billion industry, Sean Gregory, Time 9-4-17

https://www.hachettebookgroup.com/titles/dr-tommy-john/minimize-injury-maximize-performance/9780738235288/  Tommy John III on youth sports

Linda Flanagan researched the state of youth athletics and wrote the book “Take Back the Game: How Money and Mania are Ruining Kids’ Sports — and Why It Matters

For more information on Dr. Jordan and his resources for kids and parents, check out his website at www.drtimjordan.com


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