Alfie kohn and youth sports

Sports are by nature competitive, but recently, the over-competitive nature youth sports seem to have taken on has led to cause for concern. The issue has caused debate over competition vs. In this debate there appear to be three sides: The Case Against Sports Competition Author Alfie Kohn is one who is very outspoken against competition, going so far as to say competition is inherently bad.

Alfie kohn and youth sports

Ken Reed is sports policy director for League of Fans and author of Ego vs. Research shows that nearly 80 percent of all children who play adult-organized youth sports drop out by the time they're The reason most often cited is that it's no longer fun.

If you take a short drive on a weekday evening -- or just about any time during a weekend -- within a few miles you're sure to find boys and girls playing soccer, football, softball, lacrosse, tennis, and undoubtedly, a few sports I've left out.

It's a joy to watch kids running around and having fun playing sports. Especially on a beautiful fall day. However, the problem with these games is there are too many adults who bring their egos to the fields of play.

Virtually every youth sports league is plagued by adults who are pathologically focused on winning. Yes, the majority of parents and coaches keep youth sports in perspective but it only takes a few adults -- especially coaches -- to ruin the sports experience for a bunch of kids.

Of course, the issue of overbearing parents and coaches in youth sports isn't a new one. However, things are getting worse. For example, the number of incidents of physical violence and verbal abuse at youth sporting events has increased significantly in recent years.

Moreover, a National Association of Sports Officials survey found that the primary reason game officials give up the job is poor sportsmanship by parents.

To put it simply, as parents and coaches, we need to chill out. Our sons and daughters aren't going to be pro athletes and it's extremely unlikely they will receive a college athletic scholarship. The percentage of kids that reach these levels is miniscule. The figures are even bleaker for girls.

That includes partial scholarships. The percentage receiving full athletic scholarships is even smaller. So let's relax, and more importantly, let our kids relax. Can you blame them? Today, by the time most kids reach the age of 12 they've been involved in some type of adult-organized youth sport for six or seven years.

They've witnessed numerous incidents of "grown-ups" yelling at players, officials and coaches. They've probably experienced several grueling post-game critiques of their play by Coach or Mom or Dad.

They've survived many seasons of adults screaming at them to "stay in position," "get back on defense," and "be more aggressive.

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When kids see how important their games are to their parents they get anxious. To a lot of young athletes, sports just aren't games to play, they're vehicles by which they gain or lose the affection of the most important people in their lives.

What started out as fun is now a pressure-filled exercise. Children are always seeking a sense of unconditional love from their parents and when it comes to sports participation they seldom get it. And when they go off to practice, they often have to deal with a coach that's more drill sergeant than educator.

For some reason, our culture glorifies jerks like Bobby Knight and Vince Lombardi. As such, we have parent coaches all over our youth sports system berating kids in the mode of General Patton. We believe good coaches have to "kick some tail" in order to be successful.

Kids, whether they're 8 or 18 shouldn't have to endure boot camp in order to play the sport they love. There's nothing inherently wrong with adult-organized youth sports. They can be the source of wonderful, healthy and happy experiences for children -- if adults can balance their desire to win, with the holistic development of kids, and having fun.

Striving to win isn't the problem; it's the win-at-all-costs mentality -- and the actions it spawns -- that is the problem. Helping to ensure that sports remain fun for kids is also the best way to enhance the chances of long-term success.However, in Alfie Kohn’s No Contest, Kohn asserts that participation in youth sports is inherently harmful to one’s self confidence saying, “Sports not only reflect the prevailing mores of our society but perpetuate them” (Kohn ).

Yet Kohn falls short in his argument against competitive youth sports because he fails to acknowledge that not all youth interpret failure in the same way and that youth sports are a great model for their future as an adult.

Alfie Kohn, author of No contest: the case against competition, disagrees completely. He argues that competition is essentially detrimental to every important aspect of human experience; our relationships, self-esteem, enjoyment of leisure, and even productivity would all be improved if we were to break out of the pattern of relentless competition.

Alfie Kohn, a well-known educator and author of “No Contest: The Case Against Competition”, believes “healthy competition” is a contradiction.

“Being on competitive youth sports. No Contest: The Case Against Competition [Alfie Kohn] on timberdesignmag.com *FREE* shipping on qualifying offers.

Alfie kohn and youth sports

No Contest stands as the definitive critique of competition. Contrary to accepted wisdom, competition is not basic to human nature; it poisons our relationships and holds us back from doing our best. In this new edition/5(43). Why Do Women Make Great Youth Sports Coaches? More mothers needed as coaches, board members.

By Brooke de for better or worse. "What we need to be teaching our daughters and sons," says Alfie Kohn, author of No Contest, "is that it's possible to have a good time - a better time - without turning the playing field into a battlefield.

Let's Put the 'Youth' Back in Youth Sports | HuffPost