Sports are a great way for youth to develop holistically as well as have a goal or drive to achieve more in something. They invigorate and activate not just the youth's growing bodies but also their minds and hearts.
But there are increase pressures and difficulties for youth sports in the US. Not all types of sports are accessible, neither is the anxiety healthy for those who are aiming for sports scholarships in college.
In contrast, Norway's sports programs may provide a model to help the US programs to address these issues.
In Norway, 93 percent of children grow up playing organized sports because costs are low and access is wide, Farrey reports.
The country’s Children’s Rights in Sport is an eight-page document, introduced in 1987 and updated in 2007, that outlines rules for youth sports teams. It states that children should “decide for themselves how much they would like to train,” and can even opt out of games if they want.
Before age 11, publication of game scores and rankings is prohibited, as are regional championships. National championships are prohibited before age 13. Rather than a focus on producing elite athletes, the country's motto is “Joy of sport for all,” according to the Times.
Norway's programs focus on children's enjoyment of the sport rather than the pressure to continue to achieve and excel. This helps drive their motivation since essentially, they are the ones who would be pushing themselves to do better. This internal drive, as opposed to external pressures, is one of the main thrusts of their sports programs.
Deseret News reports on other data and details about the sports programs.
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