Our Kids, Their Future, Our Choices

Posted: May 31, 2008 in Sports Medicine
Tags: , , , , ,

Today’s youth is tomorrow’s future. The problem is that what is happening to our youth may be setting them (and our country) up for failure. There are two major problems we see in America today; early sports specialization and obesity. Early specialization is when kids play one sport year round at too early of an age. Today it seems that children are getting involved in organized sports earlier and earlier. Now, organized sports are a great avenue for kids, but the problem is that too many are not being exposed to multiple sports, and activities which are important for developing basic biomotor skills. When kids play the same sport and the same position they miss out on critical biomotor skill development. I see many high school kids and adults that can’t skip, cross over step, forward roll or jump properly. Also, their minds and bodies do not possess the ability to tolerate the various stress and activities we are exposing them to. We must remember that kids are not small adults. Their bodies and minds are still growing and sensitive. Specialization in one sport really should not occur until around 14 years of age. The amount of stress these young kids are exposed to through competitive practice, play and the demands of today’s coaches and parents are unbelievable. What we see is that by the time these kids are 16-18 they are burned out or injured and done with sports/ exercise. These kids then become inactive adults, some of them with lifelong problems from unnecessary injuries that occurred at a young age. So what’s the answer? Parents and coaches need to become more educated and make some hard decisions on what they will let their young kids be exposed to. Youth athletics is supposed to be f u n , se a s o n a l an d developmental with periods of rest an d rec o v e r y . Unfortunately we are not seeing this. The climate of youth sports in America has become out of control. The second problem of obesity is even more alarming. The CDC has ranked childhood obesity as the number one problem in America. Also, the incident of childhood diabetes is rapidly growing. This is a disease that in the past did not occur until the 5th or 6th  decade of life.M any factors contribute to this epidemic. Technology has created an environment that doesn’t require you to move to be a part of it, video and TV, increased processed foods, poor eating habits, fast food, soda and junk food consumption, decreased physical education in schools and overall lack of physical activity. These unfit “sick” kids will grow up to be unfit “sick” adults. The burden on the healthcare system, not to mention national security and the economy, will be astronomical. I’ve even heard that this past generation of kids will not outlive their parents! So you see that our kids are moving down a sad path from both ends. As parents, teachers, and coaches we all need to take an active role in educating and developing our kids and being good role models physically and nutritionally. We should strive to develop happy, healthy and terrific kids who enjoy life and recreation for a lifetime.

Get Strong! Stay Strong!
















  1. Brenda Hoffman says:

    Hi Chris. I just took your cont. ed. class on Functional Exercise Training. What an awesome class. I was looking for the ladder progression. I would love to have it.

    Thank you for your time and great knowledge.
    Brenda Hoffman

  2. chriskolba says:

    Thanks! Glad you enjoyed class. I had a great time.
    Google ” free agility ladder drills” and click on Agility Ladder Driils-carioca step-AOL Video. Youll find some basic drills there.
    Good luck

  3. Bob says:

    great website.

  4. chriskolba says:

    Thanks Bob!

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