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The Stress of Youth Sports

Why three out of four kids hate sports by age 13.

What Parents and Coaches Can Do continued...

Wolff points out that coaches in middle school and high school are trained and licensed by the state, yet there still are bad coaches. But in the case of travel teams, coaches need no qualifications. Parents, he says, should talk to the coach, see if he or she lets the kids play each time. If the coach says he likes to make noise or believes it's best to be tough on the kids, Wolff says, believe it. He will be. "See if the coach has a chip on his shoulder," he adds.

Wolff leaves little doubt that the coach is an authority figure and rightfully so. Being a friend to the players does not work, he says. But in his "Ten Top Tips for Coaching Kids in Sports," he also advises that fun should be part of every game and every practice. "If they never get a chance to smile or relax," he tells coaches, "you have made it into work."

Kids -- like everyone else -- will quit a job they hate.

Reviewed on March 01, 2004

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