Back in the day, in the early days of my youth, when the earth was still cooling, there were sports seasons. First baseball, then football, then basketball, then soccer, rinse and repeat. As a kid, you could play a couple of different sports, to try out things and see which one you like….or, since 99% were NOT going to make it a career, you could be a two or three sport athlete.
The specialization of kid athletes was just starting back then. You were discouraged to do more than one, but if you were gifted, it was tolerated.
It seems as though these days that once a kid even hints at liking a certain sport, it means between season camps, summer or winter leagues, etc… that a kid can liive and breathe nothing but soccer all year long.
The idea was to develop the best athletes in their respective sports possible….but sadly, many cases of “burnout” occur along the way.
As with many things, I believe this is cyclical. At some point, kids who were pushed to become superjocks will grow up and raise their kids with a more moderate approach.
I am a HUGE believer in the benefits of kids playing sports. Learning to work together, that you’re only as strong as your weakest player, that it benefits everyone to help one another, etc.
I hope some day to return to coaching, to showing kids the positive sides of playing a sport and helping their parents to understand that these are great years that will be over before they know it: enjoy them!

Tim Hunter

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