By: Matt Saint-Louis
Over the last 10 years, the whole landscape of playing sports has changed, especially for kids. Today, sports have become more competitive and serious however, we see many less kids playing sports, but the question is why? Why is the number of kids playing sports decreasing and what effect does it have on our country?
Sports today has evolved to a more serious profession, even in high school. Many high school athletes find themselves under pressure to pursue sports at the next level. Because of the seriousness of continuing to play at the next level, high schools in America have lost a lot of their 3-sport athletes. ESPN broadcaster Roger Grossman says most athletic kids that you would want to be your 3-sport athletes are “playing to focus on one sport, to be good varsity players and to become college athletes.” With kids devoting all their time to one sport, treating it like a job at such a young age, it takes a toll on the kids who play leisurely and are forced to treat it like a job. A Brien McMahon athlete who wished to keep his name disclosed said, “That s**t was too serious,” when asked about why he quit the basketball program at the school. He didn’t share the same love for the game that others did and didn’t want to play so competitively.
But what effect does losing athletes have on America? With the rate of kids playing sports significantly dropping, the obesity and crime rate of kids has increased. With kids not participating in sports and not staying active, the rate of obesity is 1 out of every 3 children. The crime rate has increased as well with kids playing one sport and having too much time on their hands in the off-season. Many argue that the young desire to dedicate themselves to one sport and work hard towards it, and that kids that don’t plan to take the game seriously can play elsewhere. Others say that the seriousness of the game is chasing off young kids from wanting to play. Is this evolution of sports really best for our children?