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Are You Stressed Over Your Child’s Sports Activities? [AUDIO]

If your child is involved in organized sports, you probably understand the running from one field to the next, getting to practice on time, traveling, volunteering, fundraising and the cost. For many, it’s not a big deal, it’s part of the commitment. But, for others it’s a different story.

High School Football
Flickr User Jamie Williams

In fact, a new survey by i9 Sports finds that the pressure with youth sports is taking a toll on moms, jeopardizing their jobs, relationships, self esteem and sanity.

“Mom is indicating that anxiety and stress at home and at work is causing her to resent her child’s involvement in youth sports,” said April Thomas, Director of Marketing with i9 Sports. “There is a lot of pressure on kids to perform and for moms to provide the type of enriched experience for kids as they grow, giving them all the youth sports advantages and benefits that are out there. While that’s a very positive thing, the youth sports industry has become more about the score of the game and becoming the next draft pick than it is about kids just having fun playing a game and learning some skills that will help them succeed in life.”

According to the report:

  • 68 percent of moms says their children’s involvement in youth sports causes stress in their lives
  • 51 percent say it causes stress for the entire family
  • 24 percent say it causes conflict with their significant other
  • 24 percent say they’ve resented their children because sports take up too much time
  • 76 percent say they’re happy when their children’s sports season is over
  • 65 percent say children’s sports interferes with their jobs
  • 43 percent say they’re less productive at work
  • 16 percent of moms say they’ve lost out on raises and promotions because of their commitment to their children’s sports

“It can interfere with your job when there are multiple practices during the week and there’s travel time and volunteering and fundraising,” said Thomas. “Mom is trying to balance working and providing for her family, yet she’s trying to strategize about who’s going to get Johnny to t-ball and who’s going to get Laura to soccer. There’s only so much we can do as moms and as families.”

The survey also found that there is pressure put on children to perform:

  • 79 percent say they wish there was an alternative to youth sports’ win-at-all-costs culture
  • 54 percent say the competitive culture hurts children
  • 23 percent say they or their children have been excluded socially because their children weren’t as good as other players

“Kids are feeling pressure to perform and to specialize at a level that isn’t natural for them at such a young age,” said Thomas. “Kids are out there to learn and to have fun. Sitting on a bench because you might not be the best catcher or the best runner is not what youth sports is supposed to be about.”

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