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Issues With The Youth Sports "Pipeline"

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PCA National Advisory Board Member Jay Coakley (@SiSCoakley) is Professor Emeritus of sociology at the University of Colorado at Colorado Springs. He has done 40 years of research on connections between sports, culture and society, much of that focused on the play, games and sport participation of young people. His Sports in Society: Issues and Controversies(11th edition) is the world's most widely used sports sociology text.

In this video, Coakley discusses the concept of the “youth sports pipeline.” Parents today are pressured to keep their children in specialized programs, or in this pipeline, for a better chance at a successful athletic career for their children. Coakley advises that parents stay firm and set limits for their children so they can stay multi-sport athletes. As Coakley says, “parents have a big job here in terms of trying to locate opportunities for their kids to play more than one sport during a year, and to expand their experiences, their relationships, and their identity beyond one sport because they know that’s what is good for their kids.”