Summary of “Kids aren’t playing enough sports. The culprit? Cost”

The Aspen Institute, through its Project Play initiative, looked at research from the Sports & Fitness Industry Association that found that in 2018, only 38% of kids aged 6 to 12 played team sports on a regular basis – down from 45% a decade earlier – and it decided to find out why.
The Aspen Institute found that travel is now the costliest element of youth sports and that on average across all sports, parents spent $196 per sport and per child annually to travel.
A staff of coaches and volunteers who know the sports and care about what they are teaching the kids helps, too, he said.
“It’s not like a panic button. Kids are always going to be interested in sport. The whole idea is, how do we get a lot of kids playing and have really good experiences?” Dan Gould, director of the Institute for the Study of Youth Sports at Michigan State University, told ESPN. “If every youth sports coach in America’s goal was to have kids fall in love with sport, they’re going to be more active, healthy, safe and get the benefits. We better keep our eye on the ball and take care of it.”
Gould said the drop in participation in youth sports is due to a “Multifactor” reason, with cost definitely at the top.
“People forget the true purpose of sports for kids is a developmental experience to help each kid fall in love with physical activity, become healthy, learn some things about themselves,” he said.
“How do we make sports more for kids and less about the professional model? The professional model is cool, but you don’t give kids a college textbook when they’re in kindergarten.”
Currently, HHS is developing a National Youth Sports Strategy, as directed by an executive order by President Donald Trump in early 2018 that aims to motivate more kids to play team sports.

The orginal article.