According to the National Council on Youth Sports, almost 30 million boys and girls under 18 play some kind of organized sport like Little League or soccer. For many of them, it's a way to make new friends and play a game they enjoy.
But over the last decade, more otherwise well-meaning parents have been pushing their budding stars to excel at almost any cost. Children as young as 3 can sign up for swimming and gymnastics programs. Soccer often starts at 4 and baseball at 5. From there it's become increasingly common for parents to rush the kids into highly competitive situations when they're barely out of diapers.
Parents should take note: A 2001 study by the National Alliance for
Youth Sports found that 70 percent of American kids who sign up for
sports quit by the time they were 13. The reason? They said it wasn't