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Grassland Athletic Association

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May, 2017

My kids’ youth sports experience taught me an important lesson in kindness

As an author of kids’ books, a soccer coach, a mom and an advocate, I spend a lot of time thinking and writing about how the benefits of kids playing sports reach beyond the fields. In addition to being fun, I believe sports are a powerful tool for education, change and equality.

But like many parents of athletes, I also witness and fall victim to the anxiety, stress and pressure that comes with kids’ sports. Is my daughter playing on the right team? Should my son specialize in playing goalie as a 10-year-old? Will they give up sports because I make a poor decision? It’s fraught with expectations and it’s overly structured. And to me, it often misses the mark on why we want our kids to play sports in the first place: to have fun, make friends and be better people. Let’s face it, the majority of kids will never play in college, or become a professional athlete.

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