Fighting The Obesity Epidemic With Youth Sports

In the past 10 years the obesity rate among American children has risen approximately 13%.

It is no surprise that during this ten year period children’s participation rate in youth sports has dropped significantly.

With the introduction of video games, increased exposure to television and the growing number of both parents working away from home it has become more difficult to keep kids active on a regular basis. As a result a large portion of our nation’s children are unhealthy.

What can we do to get Kids Active Again?

In order to get kids active in sports programs the programs need to be easily accessible and fun. The critical time of any child’s day is the first two hours after school. It is during these times that they can be away from their home and can be influenced to stay active instead of running home to a screen.

Making after school athletic activities available right after the bell is rung is essential to keeping our kids active and healthy. Lacrosse clubs, Hockey clubs and softball clubs are just a few of the many after sports activities available to youth at our nation’s schools.

Parents Role is Essential

In order for after school athletic programs to work parents need to support and encourage their children to participate. Without the support of parents all the effort to provide children with healthy after school alternatives is a wasted cause.

Most parents do not get out of work until 5pm or later. With this factor in mind it is important that parents combine their efforts to ensure that each kid has transportation to and from their athletic programs. Organizing a car pool and designating a place for each child to stay until they can be picked up will limit the amount of work each parent will have to complete to ensure their children are participating on a regular basis.

Coach’s Must Make Sports Fun

The main focus on youth sports programs is not to win but to ensure that every child has an opportunity to play and enjoy the game. Coach’s should encourage children to work hard and, despite their ability, should reward each child for their dedication to the game.