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How youth sports affect America's kids

Children take part in a tennis clinic during Arthur Ashe Kids' Day, ahead of the 2022 US Open Tennis tournament, at the USTA Billie Jean King National Tennis Center in New York.
Children take part in a tennis clinic during Arthur Ashe Kids' Day, ahead of the 2022 US Open Tennis tournament, at the USTA Billie Jean King National Tennis Center in New York.

Kids these days are busy.

Even when school is out and it’s time to close the books (or maybe, a laptop) time in the summer can fill up quickly. Often, with sports. Whether they’re kicking a ball with the neighbors, going to the park for a game of pick-up basketball, traveling in Little League, heading to the Y for a swim, or even hitting a heavy bag, sports are everywhere in our early lives.

But over the years, that’s changed a bit. 27 percent of parents say their childrenlost interest in playing sports.  And just like all of us adults, screentime can make up a good chunk of the day. Kids between 8 and 12 have about 4 to 6 hours of screentime, and teens have up to 9 hours.

But getting involved in organized sports as a kid can be expensive. Some communitiespull together to offer discounted programs or transportation for kids who don’t have access to it.

How have youth sports changed over the years? How do we pick what sport to play? How competitive should they be for a kid? What influences what kind of sports kids are drawn to? 

We put together a panel to talk about the effects playing sports has on kids.

Copyright 2023 WAMU 88.5

Jorgelina Manna-Rea
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