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Today’s Parent: What rep sports are really doing to kids

An article recently posted to outlines the issues facing youth sports today, which include an increasing focus on ‘streaming’ kids into higher levels of competitive sports, which leads to big bills and even bigger expectations.

“Whether these two goals are still compatible, especially at the increasingly competitive level of rep and division leagues, is an issue being debated on bleachers and at team barbecues and league board meetings across North America, where youth sport is in the midst of a crisis. Professionalization, adultification, specialization—these are the buzzwords being used to describe a new playing field where the focus has shifted toward churning out high-performance athletes and (just as crucially) away from objectives like fitness, overall athleticism and fun. Pricey private lessons, off-season clinics, over-the-top time commitments and the pressure to pick a single sport at an early age all reflect the priorities of system in which kids barely old enough to read their names on the backs of custom jerseys are being plucked from their local house leagues and placed on the competitive track.

The shift has been good for business: In North America, youth sports has ballooned into a $15-billion industry—up from $7 billion just four years ago. But with overall participation numbers dropping, anxiety and overuse injuries on the rise, and a troubling decline in general physical literacy among Canadian children, the more important question might be whether the current state of competitive youth sport is good for kids.”

Aldergrove Soccer is proud to be a volunteer-driven club. We strive to keep our fees accessible to all community members, with a focus on “Fitness & Fun”.

See the full article at