“When I was a child, the vast majority of my sporting activities were in playgrounds and sandlots. Now, the majority of youth sports activities are organized and administered by adults …. The biggest problem in organized youth sports is very simple to explain — too many adults who want to compete through children.” — Bob Bigelow, CNN Sunday Morning
A standout at University of Pennsylvania under Hall of Fame Coach Chuck Daly, Bob’s talent brought him to play for the NBA’s Kansas City Kings, Boston Celtics and San Diego Clippers. Since that time, he has conducted hundreds of talks and hosted thousands of clinics around the country to improve how coaches coach kids, and to develop greater skills in young athletes. Bob co-authored the watershed book, Just Let the Kids Play.
Bob’s key approaches for a better sports experience for children:
- Design sports programs that meet children’s needs, not adults’.
- Ensure that every child gets meaningful playing time, up until varsity sports.
- Make sure that coaches and volunteers are trained and qualified to work with young athletes.
- Limit the number of games to prevent overuse injuries.
- Encourage participation in multiple sports to prevent burn-out and enhance overall body development.
- Avoid identifying “elite” players at young ages at the expense of later-bloomers.
- Don’t over-coach from the sidelines — Let the Kids Play!
3:00 What was the impetus for Bob’s book Just Let the Kids Play
7:00 Should we evaluate and cut kids at younger ages?
13:00 Bob’s opinion on predicting future athletic ability at age 10
15:00 The “soccer creep” phenomenon of the 1980s
20:45 Do you need to overschedule your child in every sport under the sun?
25:30 What are the two pieces missing from the backgrounds of our coaches?
34:00 Bob’s mission: remove adult egos from youth sport
41:30 We are not out here to produce better athletes
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