Does youth sports teach valuable life lessons, or is it a waste of time?

By Janis Meredith | Posted 3/4/2015

Children who play youth sports spend hours and hours practicing and playing the game. Stepping back and look at life as a whole, do you see sports for kids as a waste of time?

One man who came into my husband’s workplace does. His comments to my husband included: Sports is a waste of time and don’t help young people learn to work.

Many older folks from the depression generation feel that way, including my own father-in-law.

I disagree with them. I believe sports do teach kids to work.

It may not be the hammer and nail kind of work. Or the digging ditches kind of work. But it is the this-is-not-easy-but-I’m-not-going-to-give-up kind of work.

I’ve seen it in my own kids, and I know that the years they spent playing youth sports – from preschool through college – taught them huge lessons about working hard and gave them a work ethic that says, “I will not give up.”

How about it? Do you think youth sports teaches kids to work or is it a waste of time, time that should be spent learning “real” work?

Janis B. Meredith, sports mom and coach's wife, writes a sports parenting blog called JBM Thinks. She authored the Sports Parenting Survival Guide Series and has recently launched a podcasting series for sports parents. You can also find her on Facebook and Twitter.