Coaching: Are Kids Today Pushed Too Hard in Sports?

Are kids today pushed too much in sports?  I hear that question tossed around at times, but not as much as I would hope it would be.  I have a 12 year old son and a typical year in sports for him is as follows.  Baseball for him starts with indoor practices twice a week February 1st  until games start the third week of April.  The season will end the second week of July after playing 45 games.  He will continue to have one practice a week during the season on top of his games.    

He will get 3 weeks off (his only break of the year) and then start football practice the second week of August.  He will have practice 5 days a week for 3 weeks and then drop down to 3 practices a week for 7 weeks when the games get started.  His season will be a six game schedule with a bye week lasting until October 15th.  Basketball practice will start during football season around September 15th, having two practices a week for a month and then games will start.  The basketball season will last until the middle of March playing approximately 35 games.  He will continue to have 1 to 2 practices a week on top of his games. 

So a recap of a normal year for him would be 45 baseball games, 40 baseball practices, 6 football games, 30 football practices, 35 basketball games, and 40 basketball practices.  The scary thing about this is we are a smaller school district for our area, the bigger school districts around us tend to have more games and practices than we do!

Now I will compare that to a normal year for me when I was a kid.  I had 16 baseball games, 20 baseball practices, 6 flag football games, 6 flag football practices, 10 basketball games, and 10 basketball practices.  That is quite a bit different!  When I was a kid I don’t remember hearing the words “he/she quit when he/she got to high school because they were just burned out from playing so much as a kid”.  Unfortunately I hear these words quite a bit now.

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