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Helping Kids Avoid Youth Athlete Burnout

By Julie Tolar, Parentology, 08/19/19, 11:30PM CDT


Even if your child seems naturally drawn to one sport, it’s important they take small breaks to try other things for balance.

Sports are a major player in the lives of many young children and their families. But are you doing your children a disservice by “starting them early” when it comes to youth sports? Research says yes.

According to the Youth Development Initiative, over 38 million kids are involved in youth sports. That means 75% of families with school-aged children have at least one participating in sports. While that’s an overwhelmingly high number, the unfortunate truth is most of these young athletes’ careers are short-lived. In fact, statistics from the National Alliance for Sports tell us 70% of kids leave organized sports by the age of 13. Why? Because it’s not fun.

There’s growing concern that the youth sports culture is driving kids away at a critical time in their development. John O’Sullivan, founder and CEO of Changing The Game Project, is trying to return youth sports to children. He believes starting young children in a variety of physical activities, not only organized sports, is a step in the right direction.