Changing the Game Project on the misguided fears -- and what that yields -- parents carry about youth sports:
We are so scared that if we do not have our child specialize, if we do not get the extra coaching, or give up our entire family life for youth sports, our child will get left behind. Even though nearly every single parent I speak to tells me that in their gut they have this feeling that running their child ragged is not helpful, they do not see an alternative. Another kid will take his place. He won’t get to play for the best coach. “I know he wants to go on the family camping trip,” they say, “but he will just have to miss it again, or the other kids will get ahead of him.”
"When parental sports spending goes up, it increases the likelihood either that the child will feel pressure or that the parent will exert it," Dr. Travis Dorsch, a Utah State University professor and former professional football player, told Helliker.
In the light of day it seems so obvious: Parents who spend a lot tend to expect a return on investment, and children feel the weight of that expectation, leading to a frayed relationship with the sport. It's a natural human reaction, with abundant parallels in everyday life. I would love it if my son appreciated the music of Otis Redding. However, if I woke him up every morning and played five hours of Otis Redding, I am pretty sure he would wind up loathing him.