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According to ESPN, 28.7 million American kids between the ages of 6 and 17 played youth sports in 2013. That number is likely low; many kids start well before age 6.
Gone are the days when boys started Little League at age 10 or 11. Today, T-ball begins at age 3 or 4, and many kids are on travel teams by the time they’re 6.
Today’s families are investing a lot of time and money into sports. (According to one estimate, travel team parents spent on average $2266 annually on youth sports; at the elite level, that number can jump to more than $20,000.)
Whether your son is into sports or not, your family will surely face pressure to sign him up for one (or more) sports teams and then steadily escalate his involvement. If your son is into it, he can reap a lot of benefits; it’s well-known that sports are a great way to learn teamwork and persistence.
But sports aren’t all positive.
We’ve all heard stories about athletes behaving badly and parents berating small children and umpires from the bleachers. We know that locker room antics aren’t always positive and we wonder how to balance youth sports with family life. (20 years into parenting boys, Jen still hasn’t satisfactorily solved the problem of supper on sports nights.)
Geoff and Jacob are that rare breed – VOLUNTEER youth sport coaches – and THEY LOVE IT! It’s a way for them to be involved with their own children’s sports but they also like guiding other youth to E.A.T. Yep, EAT – that’s E for Effort, A for attitude, and T for teamwork. Those are their guiding principles and consequently, their players are learning life skills along with their sports skills.
A dynamic conversation with these two amazing dads, coaches, and gentlemen.
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