Youth Sports Matters

Last week I talked about youth sports and specialization. This time around youth sports has been brought back in the spotlight in regards from high profile people making comments about them.

The DICK’S Sporting Goods Foundation brought key figures in the sport industry earlier in the week to comment on how important youth sports is. Tom Brady, Serena Williams, Kevin Plank, Jon Gruden are just a few people in sports that said they were impacted from sports growing up.

Tom Brady, quarterback for the New England Patriots considered himself a late bloomer, stating that he did not played football until freshman year of high school. According to the 199th pick in the 2000 NFL Draft, he could not even put pads in his pants on the first day. His encouragement to do sports while younger was his mother. To this day his mom still does that, saying that Brady is just as fast as Cam Newton and Russell Wilson.

Under Armour CEO Kevin Plank

Kevin Plank, CEO and founder of Under Armour, said at the panel discussion that sports kept him in school. “The thing that kept driving me back was I’ve got to have good grades for sports because you have to have your grades in order to play. And it was the one thing that kept me on the straight and narrow,” said Plank. That led him to play collegiate football at the University of Maryland.

Youth sports are declining in America due to high cost on equipment, fees, and safety concerns. DICK’S raised $25 million to make sure kids have the opportunity to play sports. ESPN is using their Corporate Citizens programs to help kids gain access to sports. As a kid who play many sports growing up, it would be said if later generations did not get the same opportunities that I received.

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