Monday, February 18, 2013

Youth Sports Leagues

Parents interested in involving their children in sports are faced with two options when choosing a league: developmental or competitive leagues. There’s no ‘best’ league rather the parents should select the league that is best suited for their child and his/her skill level.

Developmental leagues are established to help the players that are coming in with little or no knowledge, by helping them learn the fundamentals of the sport correctly. These leagues are geared towards making sure every player gets the same amount of playing time so as to ensure they are applying what they have learned in practice.  Developmental leagues allow for modifications to be made to the sport so that players can easily grasp concepts. For example, in a game of basketball one could give colored wristbands to each player on both teams and only the two players with the same wristband are allowed to guard each other. This allows players to work on basic skills such as dribbling and bringing the ball up the court without worrying about which player to guard.

As for competitive leagues, players are encouraged to do their best making the assumption that the basic skills and rules of the sport are already known. These leagues are geared towards competition and winning, so coaches will usually pick the best players to play based on basic instincts, position, or skill level. In the competitive leagues, the best players also receive the most playing minutes.

The decision on what league to pick should be based off of a child’s skill level and what they are expecting to get out of the sport.   Go out there and get your child involved in sports!!!

1 comment:

  1. I think giving the young athlete an option is great! Wish they could do that at the high school level. During my high school years, we had a lot of parents constantly complaining about their child's playing time. This idea would give them an option of choosing to enter a competitive team or one that is used primarily to develop their child's skills. I think it is very important for younger children to be given the chance to develop and playing time should be equal among all players. However, as the child gets older they should move to a more competitive league where winning is now more important. I think this is a similar idea to that of JV and Varsity teams but many times these JV coaches quickly forget that this level of sport is geared toward developing the athlete and preparing them for the varsity level. Sports should be fun and competitive but there is a time for each.