Wednesday @ WeHaKee: Well Rounded Youth Development!
The pressures driving the push for kids to focus and specialize their sports involvement include an increase in the importance of winning as well as parents hoping to use their children’s athletic ability to help offset college costs. A recent article in the New York Times (The Rising Costs of Youth Sports, in Money and Emotion) highlighted the astounding fact that on average parents are spending over 10% of their gross income on youth sports training and participation. The hidden costs however, lie in the negative impact on the social and emotional growth of the specialized child athlete.
“…parents whose goal (through specialized athletics)
is to give their children the best chance in life
or to get them a scholarship to college
were not looking at the statistics.”
Mark Hyman, assistant professor
at George Washington University
and noted authority of youth sports
Our children and youth need variety in the opportunities afforded them in order for them to truly discover their gifts, talents and passions. Specialization at younger and younger ages stifles this natural growth. Interestingly, many current professional athletes will share that as kids this atmosphere was quite different as they particpated in a wide variety of sports and other activities, mainly for their enjoyment. When interviewing three former professional athletes for this New York Times article, these individuals repeated a theme; “The way youth sports are played today bears no resemblance to their childhoods, and the money, time and energy that parents spend is probably misplaced.”
The beauty of a camp experience like WeHaKee Camp for Girls, is that it provides that needed variety of activities and opportunities to allow girls to explore and discover their abilities, talents and passions by experiencing nearly 40 activity choices. And many of these opportunities may not be readily available in their home communities. In addition to the discovery of their interests and gifts, girls achieve greater independence, confidence and resiliency in the supportive and positive camp environment! And did we mention, they have tons of fun while making new friends from around the world?
Thanks for reading and enjoy the rest of your week!