There’s a virus infecting youth sports. Do you see it?
Last week, there was a virus going around my city. My daughter was home from school (she’s a kindergarten teacher”) for 2 1/2 days because she caught the virus.
But viruses are not privy to bodies; sometimes they infect minds too. In fact, the attitudes and emotions of others are as contagious as any illness.
It might sound strange, but you can actually “catch” emotions like a virus — positive or negative emotions. Your emotional and chemical makeup can be downgraded when you hang out with the wrong kids of people.
RELATED CONTENT: What to look for in your kids’ sports drink
Research on sports teams has revealed that even when a team has an amazing win-loss, record the team can have a “depressed” outlook if certain emotionally expressive teammates are struggling or have terrible attitudes.
Youth sports has been infected by a virus, and the symptoms are many. They include pushy parenting behavior, coaches who are not making youth sports all about the kids, and companies who only see money when it comes to parents and kids in sports.
Sometimes doctors cannot pin down the exact name of the virus that infects a body, and the same is true for youth sports. There are many roots to the problem and I for one, do not know when it all started going awry. But the virus is there, and many are doubtful it will ever go away.
RELATED CONTENT: 8 youth sports myths that parents let their kids believe
Perhaps you feel as if you are fighting the virus, too, and it’s kind of like fighting a huge octopus. It has eight arms and you have two, so you are constantly feeling outmatched.
Maybe we’ve gone too far down the viral road and will never be fully back to where we’d like to be, where youth sports are totally all about kids having fun in empty lots and learning sports the organic way. But this is no time to fold up camp and go home. The battle is big, but there are ways to fight back.
Here’s my plan:
These are the antidotes to the virus in youth sports. As you take medicine daily when you are sick, remind yourself of them daily. Consuming these truths are the only way you will stave off the virus.
Share your “medicine” with other sports parents and coaches. Your positivity is just as contagious as the negative voices that are making youth sports sick.
RELATED CONTENT: A quick guide to vitamins and supplements for athletes
Janis B. Meredith is a life coach for sports parents. She provides resources to help parents give their children a positive and growing youth sports experience. Learn more about how she can help parents have Less Stress and More Fun in Youth Sports.