Saving Youth Athletics From the Adults

Pete Hitzeman

Managing Editor and Coach

CrossFit, Cycling, Endurance Sports, Running

Fitness, youth athletes, kids fitness, ncaa, podcast, youth sports, youth development, culture, society, obesity crisis

 

If the statistics surrounding the obesity crisis weren’t scary enough already, all indications are that our kids are going to fare even worse. Ubiquitous technology and a society that has long neglected and forgotten the needs of the body have created the unhealthiest generation in American history.

 

 

One of the greatest challenges we face as a nation in turning the tide is getting kids active, and we’re losing that battle as well. Kids are leaving youth sports in droves, and it isn’t just because they’d rather play games on their phones.

 

John O’Sullivan founded the Changing the Game Project after he discovered that the main reason kids stop playing is that we adults ruin the fun. He sat down with me to discuss how we need to create a national movement toward physical literacy as a crucial life skill. We cover the obvious positive health and academic results from a robust physical education program, and how we should create a system that encourages the transition from team sports on school to individual athletic pursuits as an adult.

 

John also weighs in on the role the NCAA should take in de-professionalizing youth sports, the risks and benefits of elite youth sports leagues for kids and families, and strategies to raise the level of coaching for all youth sports. He contends that, if we wish to meet the physical needs imposed by our modern lifestyle, we must start by shifting our emphasis from business interests, to the kids’ best interest.

 

 

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