Our purpose in school sports is to help develop the whole child. That’s why we do not advocate that sports consume a child’s whole life.
We recognize that it’s not good to get too much of a good thing. Too many hours devoted to sports and too many months devoted to the same sport can lead to a life that is out of balance and unhealthy.
Unfortunately, every restriction we impose to protect children from such risks and to promote their good health is exploited by others. For example, by non-school club coaches that covet our kids. And by almost every convention and visitors bureau in the country that is sponsoring sports events to boost their local economy.
While we talk of balanced participation and a long-term approach that leads to a lifetime of physical activity, better health and reduced medical expenses, we are out-shouted by a culture that does not have the whole child in mind. Our frame of reference is helping to raise a healthy human being, which is challenged by a culture that is more intent on raising revenue from the athletic dreams and fantasies of children and their parents.