This sounds like a good book — “Until It Hurts: America’s Obsession with Youth Sports,” by Mark Hyman( http://untilithurts.com/).
Hyman’s 14-year-old son came home with an arm super-sore from playing too much baseball, too hard. Hyman told the boy to get out there and pitch again — after all, it was the playoffs. Just a few years later, the kid ended up in surgery. Sports injury. For his part, the dad ended up with an epiphany: There is no reason to push our offspring to this point.
So he examines how sports went from something spontaeous and fun to something organized and grueling. Of course this entails figuring out how we parents got so overinvolved. And he shares some shocking stats, too, like the fact that in 2003 alone, 3.5 million children under age 15 required medical treatment for sports injuries, “nearly half of which were the result of simple overuse. The quest to turn children into tomorrow’s superstar athletes has often led adults to push them beyond physical and emotional limits.”
Free-Range Kids is pro kids sports, but not pro pro-kids sports, if you get my drift. We are not eager to make our kids into pros, or to enroll them in so many coaching programs so many days a week that that they can outswim Michael Phelps, but have no idea how to organize their own game of tag.
Sounds like this author came to the same conclusion, the hard way. — Lenore