Challenges for Young Athletes
In the past 30 years cell phones, cars, TV’s and pretty much everything else you can think of have evolved. The way youth athletes train and get better have also changed for the better. Young people (everyone in general) have more access to information than ever before. You want to know how to throw a fastball? Just look it up on YouTube and you will be burning by the hitters in no time. There are step by step ways on how to properly get in shape without having to spend a great deal of money on a personal trainer or an expensive gym. There’s also more options for youth sports leagues than ever before for young people to improve their skills. If you are a young, aspiring athlete in America there will always be someone or something available for you to help take your talents to the next level.
Youth sports in this country have ballooned into a lucrative and convenient business to offer for a sports hungry society. Little League Baseball and Pop Warner Football dominate their respected sports from coast to coast. The recent phenomenon known as travel baseball has opened up an entire new door for exposure for young baseball players. It allows kids to play against the best competition there is to offer all summer long and help get their foot in the door for events such as showcases for them to “show case” their talents from college and professional organizations. Indoor batting cages and similar facilities have also popped up everywhere for baseball and softball players to hone their skills during the offseason and to offer for areas not suited for year round outdoor activities. If you’re wanting to be the best you can possibly be then there really is no excuse to not train year round in today’s world.
Unfortunately, in the culture known as youth sports you have some parents who pressure specialization on their children. Young athletes should play as many sports possible to help them in the long run in each different sport. The way you train and the nuances you pick up in one sport can help in another and that’s where some parents miss the point. There comes a time in every young athlete’s life when they need to make the decision in which sport to pursue at the collegiate level. For rising upperclassmen athletes, sometimes they need to make the choice to be able to compete at the highest level against other young athletes in their respected sport. Not only has the exposure been magnified, but the competition from international players has risen greatly. Young baseball players in America now have to be weary of players from the Caribbean and East Asia aspiring for the same goal. Even without the resources we have here in America, international prospects still make their way (deservingly so) into the professional leagues. The world is an oyster for youth athletes in America if they take advantage of the opportunities surrounding them, but it’s up to them to make that decision, not the parents.
The services that people and organizations offer for young athletes looking to better themselves should never be looked over by anyone at any level of competition. All sports are a large part of the American economy and what better way to continue that than by making sure young people know how important it is and what can be learned by each sport. The life blood of youth sports that consists of kids and parents are something that we should all be thankful for in the advancement of American athletics.