“Every strike brings me closer to the next home run.”
– Babe Ruth
Youth sports provide countless benefits to children, who grow physically, mentally, socially and even spiritually through their involvement in team and individual activities. At the heart of a positive youth sports experience is play. At Play Like a Champion, we believe that all children have the right to play in a safe and fun environment!
Yet alarming trends have robbed many children of the ability to participate in youth sports while taking the fun out of practices and games for those who do. Consider the following:
Nearly 70% of children drop-out of sports by the age of 13.
The trend toward specialization has meant fewer children are participating in multiple sports, which has proven to increase burnout and injury, which can negatively impact a child’s development.
The cost to participate in youth sports is increasing, creating barriers to entry for middle and low income families. The same report above noted a strong correlation between household income and participation, children from families earning less than $25,000 per year participating in sports at half the rate of those earning $100,000 or more.
Excessive pressure to perform and an emphasis on winning take play out of the equation and make the result all that matters. This mentality damages both the development and enjoyment of those participating; industry leaders suggest children are becoming less creative athletes (key for long-term success) while leaving sports early to explore other activities.
Since 2006, the Play Like a Champion Today Educational Series has served over 100,000 coaches and parents through a network of 230+ trained-trainers in well over 50 cities throughout the United States and Canada. Play Like a Champion moves beyond the X’s and O’s of coaching to address the core elements of effective coaching: 1) motivation, 2) team-building, 3) leadership. Scientifically-based and ethically-directed, Play Like a Champion designs its educational programs to promote children’s physical, social and moral development to last a lifetime.
The Play Like a Champion Today Educational Series believes that the quality of preparation for our children’s educators reflects our respect for and care of our children. We have put our children’s physical and mental well-being in the hands of far too many well-meaning, but ill-informed coaches; and our children are paying the consequences. Overuse injuries, burnout, and abuse are far too common in youth and high school sports. Investing in quality coach education is not only prudent, but morally responsible.
Play Like a Champion advocates youth sports as a safety net for children from distressed families, schools, and neighborhoods. All children deserve an opportunity to play, to be physically active, to have caring adult mentors, and to be a part of team.
Through our “Champions for Children Initiative,” the Play Like a Champion Today Educational Series community has made service to the least advantaged its priority. Play Like a Champion serves a wide array of sports organizations with programs especially designed to meet their specific needs and aspirations. Our programs among the few nationally accredited by the NCACE.
Our “Coaching as a Ministry” programs are designed for faith based programs, particularly those run by Catholic dioceses, parishes, and schools.
Our “Coaching for Character” programs are designed for public school and non-sectarian sports organizations.
The Nativity School
6309 El Apajo Road
Rancho Santa Fe, CA 92067