What Happened to Child’s Play?

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Sports legends Yogi Berra and Martina Navratilova offer lessons against specializing kids in youth sports

Just as your little soccer star is about to kick off a summer of U6 soccer drill camp or your ten-year-old tennis player is back on the courts for eight straight weeks, comes the message that specialization in youth sports in America is harming kids.

“Children are playing sports in too structured a manner too early in life on adult-size fields — i.e., too large for optimal skill development — and spending too much time in one sport,” writes David Epstein, author of The Sports Gene, in a recent article in The New York Times.

This, Epstein argues, can lead to serious injuries and, a growing body of sports science shows, a lesser ultimate level of athletic success.

“We should urge kids to avoid hyperspecialization and instead sample a variety of sports through at least age 12,” says Epstein.

Baseball legend, Yogi Berra and tennis champ Martina Navratilova would agree. Continue reading

The Art of Parenting: Obama Style

Whatever you may think of Barack Obama’s politics, Michelle’s child-rearing style is decidedly conservative without a shred of the touchy-feely, go-with-the-flow stereotype of liberal parenting.

In a New York Times story last fall, Jodi Kantor, noted Obamologist, wrote that ‘Some staff members joke that they wish they could send their own children to Mrs. Obama’s boot camp for training.’

Kantor reports on a few of Michelle’s household rules for Malia 14, and Sasha 12: Continue reading