Home U.S Youth sports needs a reset. Child athletes are pushed to professionalize too...

Youth sports needs a reset. Child athletes are pushed to professionalize too early.

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The outbreak of COVID-19 thrust the world of youth sports into disarray. Forced to put most activities on hold, sports leagues around the country have struggled to resume operating in a way that protects the safety of participants. Athletes of all ages were forced to reduce the amount of time they spend playing sports, or to put those activities on hold indefinitely. This has exacerbated feelings of boredom, stress, anxiety, and frustration among children of all ages. 

Although the pandemic has disrupted the lives of young athletes, it has also created an unexpected opportunity to look at youth athletics with fresh eyes — and to make some much-needed changes that might not otherwise have been possible.

Over the past five years, we have been studying developments in the youth sports industry, and their impact on young athletes and their families. The rapid expansion of the industry has intensified the pressure that parents feel to increase the time, money, and energy they invest in their children’s athletic careers.



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