Revolutions not Resolutions! 3 Revolutionary Ideas in Youth Sports and Fitness

It’s time for a revolution! My favorite definition of revolution is “a drastic and far-reaching change in ways of thinking and behaving.” Let’s focus on creating a revolution in how we think about improving the youth sports and fitness climate for our kids through physical activity, physical education, play, and sports.

This year I am challenging myself (and my friends, colleagues, conference attendees, and students) to use a clean slate when thinking, writing, coaching, and organizing youth sports and fitness. Here are 3 “revolutionary” ideas to start the conversation:

  1. Ask the kids. This mantra has been in the forefront of much of what I write. A Socratic approach may actually help us help kids discover what they like to play, how they like to exercise, and might even introduce us to a revolutionary way to do it we haven’t even thought of. We frequently call out video games as the enemy but video game makers always ask the kids how to keep them engaged.
  2. Rethink how sports are played. We say that kids are not miniature adults, yet our entire sports structure is exactly that model. Look at the most popular youth sports and check the history of the game. They were created to introduce kids to the adult game but with smaller equipment, shorter seasons (at least way back when), and a progressive development of skills. How then did club teams, travel teams, elite teams, year-round participation, and other adult-driven concepts enter the sports structure? Whatever happened to making the experience youth-centric? Why not bring back Field Day and other fun ways for kids to gain skills?
  3. Focus on the correct outcome. Do we really want U-8 champs, sports specialization at the expense of positive youth development, or burnout, injury, and disinterest in playing sports to be the outcome? Or, should we focus on a structure that helps youngsters develop athleticism; love of physical activity, play, and sports; and the ability to be healthy and active for the rest of their lives? Kids say having fun, giving effort, and getting playing time are their favorite things about youth sports. How do we give all that to them?

 

At a time where 97% of all kids play video games (99% boys and 94% girls), childhood obesity is the number one health concern among parents, and sports participation is now less than 37% (and dropping precipitously in baseball, basketball, football, and soccer in the US), we need to seriously rethink how we can engage our youth in being physically active. Let’s start the revolution!

 

 

About Rick Howard

Interested in sharing information on youth-centered fitness, youth sports, and youth coaching.

Posted on January 9, 2018, in Uncategorized. Bookmark the permalink. Leave a comment.

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out / Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out / Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out / Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out / Change )

Connecting to %s

YLMSportScience

To Discover What is New in Sport Sciences

purposefulmovement

The inherent JOY of movement.

drowningintheshallow

Educational Blog with a focus on PE and Sport

footblogball

The Learming Space- Coaching- Learning- Play

Functional Path Training

Fill the Talent Pool

The Educated Trainer

Information for future personal trainers

Changing the Game Project

Fill the Talent Pool

Human Kinetics Blog

Sport, health and fitness from Human Kinetics, the world's biggest independent physical activity publisher.

%d bloggers like this: