By Ken Reed
The following sign is posted on the fence at every Glendale Little League (Wisconsin) field:
1. These are KIDS.
2. This is a GAME.
3. Coaches are VOLUNTEERS.
4. Umpires are HUMAN.
5. Your child is NOT being scouted by the Brewers today.
Glendale Little League
What a terrific message. It’s a friendly and fun reminder to parents about keeping the proper perspective regarding their child’s youth sports experience.
Here’s the reality: It is highly unlikely that a youth sports athlete will ever play college sports let alone professional sports.
According to NCAA research:
· High school senior baseball players who go on to play NCAA college baseball (This includes ALL levels — Division I, Division II and Division III): Less than three in 50, or 5.6 percent. (Note: Division III athletes don’t receive athletic scholarships and the vast majority of Division I and Division II baseball players only get partial athletic scholarships.)
· High school seniors eventually drafted by a Major League Baseball team: About one in 200, or 0.5 percent. (Note: The odds are actually much worse today as MLB, starting in 2021, has cut their draft from 40 rounds to 20 rounds.) Also, it’s important to note that drafted baseball players go straight to the minor leagues. The odds of them making it to the Major Leagues, and actually playing in a Major League game, are much steeper.)
Rest assured, the odds are similarly long for football, basketball, hockey, tennis, golf and other professional sports.
Moreover, the stats listed here are for high school players, not Little Leaguers. The majority of Little League athletes drop out of competitive sports before they reach high school.
The takeaway: Go ahead and dream big but keep things in perspective.
— Ken Reed, Sports Policy Director, League of Fans
Sports Forum Podcast
Episode #26 – League of Fans’ Sports Forum podcast: How Can We Fix Youth Sports? – John O’Sullivan is Founder and CEO of Changing the Game Project and author of “Changing the Game: The Parents Guide to Raising Happy, High Performing Athletes and Giving Youth Sports Back to Our Kids.” We discuss overzealous adults in youth sports, the dangers of sport specialization, youth sports entrepreneurs and the profit-at-all-costs mindset, and the growing socio-economic gap in youth sports.
Follow on Facebook: @SportsForumPodcast
Episode #25 – League of Fans’ Sports Forum podcast: Physical Education Should Be a Critical Component of K-12 School Design – Michael Horn is co-founder of the Clayton Christensen Institute for Disruptive Innovation.
Episode #24 – League of Fans’ Sports Forum podcast: Mental Health and Athletes: Ending the Stigma – Nathan Braaten and Taylor Ricci are the founders of Dam Worth It, a non-profit created to end the stigma around mental health at colleges and universities through sport, storytelling, and community creation.
Episode #23 – League of Fans’ Sports Forum podcast: Olympian Benita Fitzgerald Mosley Talks Title IX, Youth Sports and the Olympics.
Episode #22 – League of Fans’ Sports Forum podcast: Rethinking Sports Fandom with Author Craig Calcaterra – We discuss Calcaterra’s new book “Rethinking Fandom: How to Beat the Sports-Industrial Complex at Its Own Game” and explore new ways to be a fan.
Episode #21 – League of Fans’ Sports Forum podcast: Chatting About a Broken Game With Baseball Writer Pedro Moura – Moura is a national baseball writer for Fox Sports. We discuss how and why the game of baseball is broken, what factors caused it, and offer a few thoughts on how to “fix” a great game.
Media"How We Can Save Sports" author Ken Reed appears on Fox & Friends to explain how there's "too much adult in youth sports."
Ken Reed appears on Mornings with Gail from KFKA Radio in Colorado to discuss bad parenting in youth athletics.
“Should College Athletes Be Paid?” Ken Reed on The Morning Show from Wisconsin Public Radio
Ken Reed appears on KGNU Community Radio in Colorado (at 02:30) to discuss equality in sports and Title IX.
Ken Reed appears on the Ralph Nader Radio Hour (at 38:35) to discuss his book The Sports Reformers: Working to Make the World of Sports a Better Place, and to talk about some current sports issues.
- League of Fans Sports Policy Director Ken Reed quoted in Washington Post column titled "What happened to P.E.? It’s losing ground in our push for academic improvement," by Jay Mathews
League of Fans is a sports reform project founded by Ralph Nader to fight for the higher principles of justice, fair play, equal opportunity and civil rights in sports; and to encourage safety and civic responsibility in sports industry and culture.
Sports & Torts – Ken Reed, Sports Policy Director, League of Fans – at the American Museum of Tort Law
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