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Playing a High-Pressure Position in Youth Sports

  
  
  
Playing a High-Pressure Position in Youth Sports

Even in team sports where all the positions rely on each other to win, there is oftentimes a more high-pressure position; the pitcher, the quarterback, the goalie, for instance. As a pitcher or quarterback, a huge portion of the game rests on your shoulders. After all, it doesn't matter how great your receivers are if your quarterback can't throw decent passes, right? And if a pitcher just keeps walking batters it doesn't matter if they have the best shortstop in the league. Although soccer goalie might not be moving around as much as a mid-fielder, when it's their turn to make a play if they screw up the end result is a goal for the other team. In a typically low scoring game like hockey or soccer, even missing one or two shots can result in a loss.

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Are There Any Benefits to Early Specialization in Youth Sports?

  
  
  

Some parents/coaches believe that early specialization is the best (if not only) way to ensure that their child turns their love of sports into a college scholarship or even a career. Others argue that early specialization is actually ruining youth sports because it pushes young players too hard, too fast, and too soon. Which side of the argument are you on?

5 Things That Can Ruin a Youth Sports Season

  
  
  
5 Things That Can Ruin a Youth Sports Season

No matter how much we may try to have a "perfect" sports season, things can and will go wrong. Kids might get hurt or bored or burn out. Parents might be too busy to make it to every game. Coaches get frustrated or aggressive. It's bound to happen to everyone sooner or later. And while most players, parents, and coaches can bounce back from one bad game or practice, there are a few things that can ruin a youth sports season for good.

Keeping Your Athlete Positive When They're On the Bench

  
  
  
Keeping Your Athlete Positive When They're On the Bench

No youth athlete wants to be known as the team benchwarmer, but even with the best intentions some coaches have a hard time ensuring every player gets equal playing time. It's important that during the first few years of their athletic career, coaches do everything they can to keep kids engaged and interested, so benchwarming needs to be kept to a minimum. If they hardly ever set foot on the field it's hard to build any real passion. But as players move through their athletic career, especially if they join a more competitive league or travel team, coaches start to care a little less about equal playing time and more about getting the best combination of players on the field. As Dr. Alan Goldberg pointed out,

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What Do Individual Sports Have to Offer Youth Athletes?

  
  
  
What Do Individual Sports Have to Offer Youth Athletes?

Team sports like soccer and baseball and football usually get most of the attention when we talk about sports, be it at the youth level, college, or even professional (maybe with the exception of golf at the pro level.) And while many sports parents are quick to sign their sons and daughters up for team sports, not every child wants to be part of a big team. It doesn't mean they don't want to play sports, but perhaps they'd do better in a more individualized sport like gymnastics, swimming, or tennis.

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Managing a Multi-Athlete Home

  
  
  
Managing a Multi-Athlete Home

Being a sports parent is great, but it's also a major time (and sometimes financial) commitment. Being a sports parents 2 or 3 times over can be incredibly rewarding, but managing a multi-athlete home means managing more issues/conflicts.

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Is The Pressure to Perform Too Much for Youth Athletes?

  
  
  
Is The Pressure to Perform Too Much for Youth Athletes?

We've talked a lot about how 75% of kids quit playing youth sports by the time they are 13 and what we as parents and coaches can do to reverse that trend and keep kids involved in sports longer. Dave Holt made a fantastic point on our post about not forcing kids to play a particular sport (or any sport for that matter);

You Can't Force Your Child to Play Youth Sports

  
  
  
You Can't Force Your Child to Play Youth Sports

The short and long-term benefits of playing youth sports (getting kids more active, socializing, teaching teamwork, etc) are hard to deny. And obviously while we at SportsSignup are more than a little biased, we do understand that sports aren't for everybody. Maybe your child would rather learn to play the drums, star in the school musical, take a painting class, or become a chess master. Whatever they want to do is fine, as long as they love to do it! But it can be hard for some parents, especially when they were big sports stars in their own childhood, to let go of their own athletic dreams for their kids. While parents are obviously the ones signing up young children for sports (most 5 year olds aren't begging to play t-ball), at some point kids have to want to play sports because THEY love to play, not just because you want them to play.

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Can You Buy Talent and Athletic Success?

  
  
  
Can You Buy Talent and Athletic Success?

Paying to play is fast becoming the new norm in youth sports, especially as youth athletes move into more competitive age brackets and join high-powered travel or club teams. According to ESPN, one hockey family has spent $48,850 on their teenage daughter's hockey career so far. We as sports parents all want the best for our young players and we want them to succeed in their athletic careers, however long or short that may be, but can you actually buy sports talent?

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How Do You Feel About College Scouting in Youth Sports?

  
  
  
How Do You Feel About College Scouting in Youth Sports?

A few weeks ago we came across this New York Times story about a high school soccer player who was being recruited for a college team. Now obviously high school athletes get scouted and recruited every day, but the real crux of this story is that this soccer player is only 15. She's a freshman but "Before Haley Berg was done with middle school, she had the numbers for 16 college soccer coaches programmed into the iPhone she protected with a Justin Bieber case."

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