Comments Subscribe to Personal Liberty News Feed Subscribe to Personal Liberty

Overzealous Parents Can Ruin Kids’ Sports

BIRMINGHAM, Ala., Sept. 30 (UPI) — Well-meaning but overzealous parents can ruin team sports for kids — and some who start at age 3 can lose interest by middle school, U.S. researchers say.

Sandra Sims of the University of Alabama at Birmingham School of Education said child athletes have two needs — to have fun and feel worthy.

“I don’t think any adult would do this purposefully, but some have taken the joy away and that is killing sports,” Sims says in a statement. “Children age 6 and younger need unstructured play. Period. They want to pick up grass, throw rocks or play with butterflies, meanwhile parents are saying, ‘You’re going to be an NFL star’ to their 2-year-old. We often treat them as mini adults.”

Most children should not commit, or specialize, in one sport until they are age 15. Sims recommends parents let children complete a season in one sport and then evaluate it and talk about exploring other choices.

“Don’t worry that waiting will negatively affect their chances of getting a scholarship,” Sims says. “Switching sports lets your child to decide which they like best and are most willing to work at to excel in.”

Parents should be aware that being on a sports team may not mean a child is fit — wearing a uniform does not mean a child gets 60 minutes of physical activity each day, this depends on the sport, the position they play and how much time they get on the field, Sims says.

UPI - United Press International, Inc.

Since 1907, United Press International (UPI) has been a leading provider of critical information to media outlets, businesses, governments and researchers worldwide.

Facebook Conversations

Join the Discussion:
View Comments to “Overzealous Parents Can Ruin Kids’ Sports”

Comment Policy: We encourage an open discussion with a wide range of viewpoints, even extreme ones, but we will not tolerate racism, profanity or slanderous comments toward the author(s) or comment participants. Make your case passionately, but civilly. Please don't stoop to name calling. We use filters for spam protection. If your comment does not appear, it is likely because it violates the above policy or contains links or language typical of spam. We reserve the right to remove comments at our discretion.

Is there news related to personal liberty happening in your area? Contact us at


Sign Up For Personal Liberty Digest™!

PL Badge

Welcome to,
America's #1 Source for Libertarian News!

To join our group of freedom-loving individuals and to get alerts as well as late-breaking conservative news from Personal Liberty Digest™...

Privacy PolicyYou can opt out at any time. We protect your information like a mother hen. We will not sell or rent your email address to anyone for any reason.