Not All Youth Sports Are Created Equal

Categories: Blog, Character Education

For generations, parents have been enrolling their children in sports programs with the hope that they will develop discipline, teamwork and stay active and healthy. The benefits of participating in youth sports are long-lasting.

Research shows:

  • High school athletes are more likely than non-athletes to attend college and get degrees.
  • Physical activity, and sports in particular, can positively affect aspects of personal development among young people, such as self-esteem, goal-setting, and leadership.
  • Female high school athletes are less likely to be sexually active, to use drugs and to suffer from depression, when compared to non-athlete peers.
  • Regular physical activity benefits health in many ways, including helping build and maintain healthy bones, muscles, and joints; helping control weight and reduce fat; and preventing or delaying the development of high blood pressure.

So why have most youth sports seen a decline in participation over the last five years? Because parents have concerns about youth sports today. espnW and Aspen Institute Project Play joined together to survey parents about their issues with youth sports.

Top 5 Concerns Parents have with Youth Sports

  • 88% – risk of injury
  • 82% – quality or behavior of coaches
  • 70% – cost
  • 68% – time commitment
  • 66% – emphasis on winning over having fun

Not All Youth Sports are Created Equal

While many parents may have experienced one or all the above concerns, there are youth sports programs available that address and minimize these matters. At The First Tee, we offer youth golf programs to youth ages 7 to 18, no matter their background or experience.

Safety is a Priority

From day one, youth learn about safety precautions, like where to stand when someone is swinging their golf club. And while physical activity is never completely risk-free, there are fewer opportunities for physical contact leading to injury while playing golf. Golf is a game for everyone—size, age or gender don’t have a significant impact on your ability to compete with others.

Quality Coaches

At The First Tee, coaching is important to us. Coaches are formally trained and can progress through levels of training. New research confirms that after participating in The First Tee’s multi-level and multi-year coach development program, coaches are transformed over time from quality coaches to community advocates.

Golf Is Affordable

At The First Tee, the average cost for a six to eight week session is $72, though it varies from chapter to chapter. Chapters also offer financial aid so that no child is turned away due to an inability to pay. Need more proof golf is affordable? Keep reading here.

Time Commitment

While schedules vary from chapter to chapter, most programs offer weekly classes that last six to eight weeks. In many cases, it’s up to your family how involved you’d like to be as chapters typically offer additional opportunities to expand their golf or life skills. But they are optional!

It’s More Than A Game

We believe that golf is more than a game. The emphasis at The First Tee is bigger than who wins. It’s an opportunity to have fun, meet new people and develop character through The First Tee Nine Core Values.

Ready to Get Started?

With more than 1,200 locations, The First Tee offers programs to youth from all backgrounds—no golf experience needed! If you know a young person who would enjoy The First Tee, visit our location map to find a local chapter!

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