Is there a blogging waiver wire? If there was, I would have just got my paperwork. After nearly an hour working on my blog, this piece of %&$ computer froze up and lost my last post. Funny how one bad experience can immediately turn you off to something you were actually beginning to enjoy. Blogging just got there with me.
Speaking of burn out…It could be that I am enjoying the experience less because its something I have to do, not necessarily because I want to do it. This sounds a little like the kid that is wore out because “super dad” has their kid playing linebacker for the 6th grade football team, going to football camp on the weekends, he even hired one of those position specific coaches because his boy is the next Brian Urlacher. I guess it doesn’t matter that he is 4’11” and just had a party because the scale showed triple digits when he stepped on it this morning.
This was one of the key psycholigical questions regarding youth sports. Are pushy parents driving their kids AWAY from youth sports. I can certainly identify since I have watched it happen numerous times with teammates of my kids.
I spent the majority of my time discussing the biology related to youth sports. I cited two seperate studies identifying the time of the year kids were born and how it related to performance and success in youth sports. The studies of youth hockey and soccer players identified that those kids born early in the calendar year had a higher chance of success. THis is related to the fact that they are typically more physically mature than many of their peers. This physical maturity led to their selection to elite (all-star) teams and the superior coaching and competition that came with it. A contradictory story identified this as a somewhat short lived benefit since maturity evened out by late high school and kids that had spent more time and relied on their skills practice and improvement. Often the kids that used to be at a disadvantage were now the better players becasue they had focused on learning the fundamentals of games and when they physically caught up, they played at a higher level.
My opinion is I kind of agree with both sides. The players that typically play at the D1 or professional level are the ones that have both. Bobby Bowden, the previous football coach for the Florida State football team used to say “I can’t teach a kid 4.3, but I CAN teach him to play linebacker”. What he meant simply was you can’t teach bigger, faster, and stronger; but you could teach skill. I remind my own Son of this on a regular basis. He was given the physical gifts to be a great pitcher, but if he doesn’t work at the craft, he will end up as a cautionary tale. No one wants that label I’m sure.
I think we ran out of time and didn’t get to discuss the business side with the detail it deserved. I can tell you youth sports is BIG business. I coached a team of 12 year olds in a tournament in Cooperstown, NY a couple of years ago. The cost for the tournament was $850 per player or coach. For that you got to stay dormitory style with the team in a shack with no air conditioning and eat bland institutional food. If you didn’t get the part where it cost the same for a player and coach, I got to pay $1700 for my son and I to go. This was before I got to buy the plane tickets, rent a car, and pay for the portion of the house that was shared by some of the familes.
$1700 coach and player fee.
$1600 Plane tickets
$800 house rental
$300 rental car
$1000 Food and misc. expenses
On the business side the tournament owner has 100 teams every week from June 1st through Labor Day. At approximately $10,000 per team, this adds up to $1MM every week for thirteen weeks. $13MM gross sales with an estimated 50% profit margin. Not a bad living I would say.
There is a long waiting list of team more than willing to pony up to play every year.
There are many other organizations just like this one that you can look up for yourself.
Search Triple Crown Sports or AAU just to name a couple. Locally the Rocky Mountain School of Baseball (RMSB) hosts the largest tournaments in the state of Utah.
All I can say is that when I grow up I want to earn a living hosting youth sports tournaments. I can make a good living and be a hero locally for all the good I do for the local economic develoment.
I listened to the owner of RMSB complain one day because he didn’t feel like he was getting the attention of the local government because they made such a big deal about the St. George Marathon bringing $1mm into the local economy during the week of the marathon and brought the same kind of revenue three times a year with his tournaments.
I can also tell you every time I start to complain or feel bad about the money invested in youth sports, I get reminded by a friend of mine in Vegas that it could be worse. He had a Son he couldn’t get involved in youth sports and instead invested $90,000 last year to pay for drug rehab. At least with the money I’m spending. I know my kids are active, learning team work, humility, and many other life lessons.
Sorry I have to go; my daughter has to practice for the second tryout for a new club softball team. Red Rock Fastpitch is planning to play in 10 tournaments in the next year and it is ONLY (hopefully sarcasm recognized) $800 to cover the uniform and tournament fees.
It will be the best $800 I could ever spend. Wish her luck on making the team!