The main mission of Give And Go Sport is the Give And Go Documentary film.
The film explores the creation, evolution, and the dangers and disadvantages of one-sport specialization in youth sports and the solutions to the problems this has created.
At one time, sports were a seasonal pursuit. Hockey, basketball and other indoor sports were reserved for the winter months. As the skies cleared and the temperatures became more accommodating, skates and sneakers were exchanged for cleats, and baseball and soccer were the sports of spring and summer.
Slowly but surely, the youth sport landscape changed. Summer hockey blossomed. Conditioning camps, skating camps, stickhandling schools and other specialized entities were born and hockey became a 12-month a year pursuit. Similar evolution took place in all youth sport.
Youth sports has become big business, and has gone from offering children a chance to participate, compete and develop emotional, physical and mental skills that will help aid their growth toward adulthood, into a fantasy factory, a virtual cottage industry designed to produce professional athletes.
By funneling their children into one sport, parents aren’t allowing their child to experience a normal childhood. Their friends are their sporting teammates, and by pursuing a sport at such a cost of time and energy, they aren’t able to experience and enjoy other aspects of life. They will never hold a summer job, and are unlikely to go away to a summer camp unless it is specifically related to their sport. On top of that, the other children in the family are often left to feel alienated and unloved because so much of family life is devoted to the one child’s never-ending sporting pursuit.
Less than 1 per cent of all youth sport participants will become professional athletes. We must break that image in the minds of parents that they are breeding the next Sidney Crosby or LeBron James and allow their children to experience all that sport has to offer them. The mission of youth sport should not be to create robo athletes pursuing the elusive goal of becoming a pro, but rather to teach kids how to work toward an objective and in many cases, how to work together as a group toward that objective. And also to recognize at a young age the value of regular exercise in pursuit of an overall healthy lifestyle.
While knowing that multi-sport athletes make for better performers and more well-rounded people, how do we get that message into the minds of parents who are convinced the only way to make their kid a hockey star is by playing all-hockey, all the time? And how to we alter the thinking of coaches who want their players devoted to the team and the sport 24/7, 12 months a year?