Youth Sports: Business or Pleasure?
With the many changes we've seen in media and technology in the last decade, changes in other areas have been almost innate. More industries are seeking monetary gains and publicity through the various ways we have to connect with one another instantly. Youth sports is no different.
What was once a pastime for our children to get exercise, make friends, and learn teamwork is now gaining more business traits. Amateur sports are putting new pressures on children, especially with endorsement deals for teams, and increased exposure for coaches. Youth sports are even getting into the reality TV game, with shows like MTV's Two-a-Days.
The NBA and NCAA have partnered to produce iHoops, a development of youth programs to improve the quality of youth basketball in America. It seems partnerships like this are the safest in getting our youth to focus on the game, teamwork, and personal growth, rather than monetary gains or media attention.
Are we putting too much on youth in their athletic endeavors? Should they be working on their games like the pros?