We are seeing around us a whole world of recreation that never existed in our time. Kids currently have to start training at a young age in order to be able to compete for a varsity spot one day.
D, being pretty sports aware is shocked at how intense the rec system has become. We have been told that in order to play grade 9 volleyball, training has to start in grade 5 with the right coach and camps?!
In our time, anyone who showed up pretty much had a decent chance of getting on the team. Kids are now training 3 -5 times a week and playing throughout the year. And their goal isn't to make it to the Olympics or win a scholarship or to become a professional athlete or just to stay fit.
They are attending special camps all over the States and on multiple leagues in order to build up a strong enough resume to make varsity. I'm sure you can imagine the costs associated as well as the little down time for both kids and family. Plus it makes it impossible for youth summer jobs.
This training intensity has led to multiple injuries at a young age like compression and stress fractures, small bone breaks and chronic muscle strain. Believe me, that kind of stuff comes back to haunt you. Maybe I'm not seeing it but where is the fun?
Because of the huge time commitment just one sport demands, I'm noticing the development of these kids/teenagers/young adults seem skewed. Whether parents are a huge proponent of a liberal arts education or not, the reality is, once in, kids basically have no time to do anything else.