859 Sports Magazine

From the Boston Globe by Jay Atkinson

Not long ago, I was invited to speak at the annual banquet for an “elite” youth hockey organization. Before dinner, the organization’s president mentioned how he and his neighbor, another hockey dad, had seen the need for a top-tier program in their area, and how much planning and money it had required to create one. He rhapsodized about the championships his teams had won in their first two years of operation. He also said his 6-year-old son and his neighbor’s boy were hockey-crazed best friends — or at least they used to be. His neighbor’s son was not selected for the mite team that first year, and the two men and their boys had not spoken to each other since.

In brief, that’s exactly what’s wrong with youth sports. Too much money, too much parent involvement, and too many brokenhearted 6-year-olds. (Not to mention too…

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