Why less kids are playing sports

Photo Credit: photo via flickr under the creative commons license
Youth sports are on the decline.

Sports can give valuable lessons and create lifelong friendships for children. With the decline in participation in sports, kids are missing out on these opportunities.

According to the Washington post, basketball has declined from 16.5 percent of kids to 13 percent of kids. Baseball has declined from 16.5 percent to 12.4 percent. Soccer has declined from 10.4 percent to 7.7 percent. Football has declined from 8.2 percent to 6.3 percent. Tom Farrey, executive director of Aspen’s sports and society program said, “You can’t stick a kid in right field and he touches the ball once or twice a game, that’s not the same level of excitement as you can get in a video game.” This is a really good point. Kids who don’t have lots of natural talent would rather play video games then be 2nd fiddle in a game.

A major problem is that most kids are choosing to only play one sports instead of multiple. This is mostly due to college scholarships. Commissioner of the MLB Rob Manfred said, “the best athlete is a kid who plays multiple sports.”  This is true. Different sports require different things, mentally and physically. Playing different sports helps give a workout to each aspect, instead of putting too much pressure on one.

A problem for some sports is that it is too expensive for the average person. According to the Washington post, Only 34.6 percent of kids who’s parents make less than 25,000 dollars participate in athletics, while 68.4 percent of kids from households that make at least 100,000. Due to all the equipment needed, baseball is the main victim. Another major reason is some sports are too dangerous. Emily Wottreng from dailybreak said “Knowing that 4 out of 5 college football player’s brains had CTE, would you play the sport? Would you allow your kids to?”

Joey Caroscio, a wrestler for Colonia High School, was asked did you play multiple sports as a kid or only one. He responded with “yes, baseball and wrestling.”  Just like Rob Manfred said, the best athlete is a kid that plays multiple sports.

When asked what about wrestling may be a turn off for someone who may be considering it, Caroscio responded, “Someone might not want to do wrestling because it’s constant working out, staying strong, staying in shape, conditioning and staying healthy through a 4 to 5 month period.” Every sport is a lot of work. When asked if overall, what he thinks is the main reason for the decline in sports participation, he said, “The work you have to put into it, kids are lazy these days, they want stuff handed to them, but you have to work to achieve what you want.”

Steven Miller, a soccer player for Colonia High school, was asked “Have you ever sustained an injury while playing a sport?” He responded “Yeah, I have sprained my knee and received a concussion while playing soccer.” These injuries are extremely common in sports, and can be serious if treated wrong or if it happens too often. He was asked “Is there any sport you find boring?” Miller responded “Baseball because you never know when the game is going to be over.” This has been a huge turn off for potential baseball players, which is why the MLB has made changes to speed up the game like a pitch clock. When asked “Overall, what do you think is the main reason for the decline in sports participation?” He responded, “Kid’s are afraid to get a serious injury.”

Whatever the reason, where is our society headed if we don’t have lack athletes moving forward. In United States watching sports either collegiate or professional sports is a past time for many. A 2014 poll by Vanity Fair Magazine found that 90% of Americans watch sports. But, most Americans prefer to watch the game from their couch instead of going to the game. If those numbers of viewers and players decrease, what will happen to sports in America?