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The Soccer Sidelines

131 EpisodesProduced by David DejewskiWebsite

Join Coach Dave on the sidelines as he brings you in on what’s going on behind the scenes and the stuff that really matters in youth sports. Understand the game, development, and ways you can support your young athlete at home!

36:30

Pay to Play in Youth Sports

Pay for play is unequal. It’s unfair. And it’s hurting youth sports more than it’s helping. Pay to play in youth sports has been a thing for at least 10 years. It’s a bad thing. And it’s something you should be aware of no matter what sport your kids are playing. Listen to the show for details about what's wrong with pay to play in youth sports and how we might fix it. What is Pay to Play in Youth Sports?Pay to play shares one characteristic no matter what context it’s being used in. Pay to play in youth sports =  limited access. Essentially, what this amounts to is those who have money can play. Those who don’t have money can’t afford to play. Talent takes a back seat in this discussion. The pay-to-play system as a system that is overpriced, creates a dysfunctional commitment, prohibits some real talent from participating, and is a driving force behind declining interest in youth sports in America. I would add that it’s causing irreparable damage to the character of our country.Costs of Playing Sports Per Child Per YearClick on the sport you want to see average and maximum costs for. LacrosseAverage: $7,956 per yearMaximum: $17,500 per yearHockeyAverage: $7,013 per yearMaximum: $19,000 per yearBaseballAverage: $4,044 per yearMaximum: $9,900 per yearSoccerAverage: $1,472 per yearMaximum: $5,500 per yearAmerican FootballAverage: $2,739 per yearMaximum: $9,500 per yearBasketballAverage: $1,143 per yearMaximum: $5,150 per yearSource: Barone, Emily. “The Astronomical Cost of Kids' Sports.” Time, Time, 24 Aug. 2017, time.com/4913284/kids-sports-cost/.Three Things Wrong with Pay to Play in Youth SportsPay for Play in youth sports Means Youth Sports is OverpricedPay for Play in youth sports creates Dysfunctional CommitmentPay for Play in youth sports is a driving force behind the decline in participation in youth sports in AmericaPaying thousands of dollars for a sport that requires open space and a ball is crazy. Even if one makes an argument based on the cost of superior coaching, standards don't really exist to judge the quality of a coach. Just because a coach has a certain credential does not mean that they are good. Bad coaches (or coaches that aren't in the game) take teams out for practice every day in America. With maximum costs for some sports coming in at almost $20,000 per year, something is wrong. I've done the math for my region. There are lots of opportunities to reduce costs in the system!When we put a dollar into an investment, we become much more emotionally invested in the outcome of that investment. This is human nature. When families are spending upwards of 10% of their total income to pay for youth sports for their kids, the emotional investment in the outcome (usually as it pertains to the score board, often becomes dysfunctional. Seeing fully grown adults yelling, stomping, cheating, and acting like fools is now part of the youth sports experience. Are they too emotionally invested? Might this have anything to do with the fact that they just skipped a mortgage payment to be there? The increased pressure and decreased access to youth sports is driving a decline in participation. When sports were free, every public open space was filled with kids running around doing fun stuff. Kids naturally want to run, throw, chase, yell, and giggle. They work on their core, their coordination, their problem solving, and they keep off the body fat. Today, we don't see many kids playing outside. They're on couches playing video games. This has to change. Three Solutions to Minimize Pay to Play in Youth SportsSolution #1 - Bring the focus back on what really mattersSolution #2 - Sharpen our pencilsSolution #3 - Increase Access to youth sports - including free play opportunitiesBringing the focus back on what really matters gives us a way to measure success of the youth sports environment in ways beyond the score board. Ideally, since the youth sports environment is designed to give kids a safe environment to practice respect...

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