Monthly Archives: January 2011

Jan 25

Youth Sports Sportsmanship

By RonUsher | Uncategorized

This is an interesting article about a recent high school girls basketball game. Click HERE to read it.

What I find scary is that the coach says he wants to teach his girls to always play hard and do their best. I doubt if they were doing that. How could they?

Here are my top three problems with his reasoning:

  1. There was no competition, so how could his team be working hard?
  2. How does he measure giving “giving their best?”
  3. What is the real purpose of youth sports? As a teacher and coach does he have a greater responsibility to all the kids on the court…not just his own?

I can think of many ways he could of had his team working harder and not run up the score. Increase the number of passes, make the passes more difficult, use only weak handed dribbling or shots, or play two players down. Any one of these would have helped keep the score down and made his team work harder.

But perhaps more importantly, was his team helping the other team improve? Where they showing them what to do correctly? Where they showing them where to go or what they did wrong? I doubt it.

Coaches, parents and kids whether on a basketball team, soccer team or any other youth activity need to take the education and skills of all the players into account. When this is done, we will have youth athletes that go on to be athletes throughout their entire life…not just for one or two seasons.

This will happen because of the lessons learned and the friends they made.

And that’s what youth sports sportsmanship should be about.

Jan 20

Youth Sports: 5 Reasons Why Kids Should Not Specialize

By RonUsher | Uncategorized

A lot of coaches and parents disagree with me on this, but after spending over 30 years in the trenches, working with thousands of kids, I think that specializing in one sport for anyone under the age of 17 is a big mistake. Here are my top five reasons.

  1. Limits opportunities for success in other sports.
    Because kids develop at different rates and times, no one knows what type of athlete or build they will have as the mature. If they specialize they may never find the one sport which they truly love and suits their body type and personality.
  2. 95% of athletes don’t go on to play elite level sports.
    Let’s face it…most of us don’t go on to play very high level sports as an amateur or professional. By playing different sports, kids will grow up to be well rounded adult athletes, able to participate and enjoy many activities throughout their lives.
  3. Reduce risk of injuries.
    Early specialization leads to overuse injuries. By playing and participating in many sports, kids develop their entire body and muscular/skeletal system.
  4. Skills learned in one sport transfer to another.
    The concepts and skills from one sport transfer to another. The skills of defense of basketball help build the ones of soccer.
  5. Puts emphasis on fun, fitness and friends.
    My belief is that kids should play sports for fun, fitness, and friends. Typically, early specialization puts the emphasis on winning, scholarships, and money. Nothing is wrong with these values, but they shouldn’t override lifelong benefits of sports.