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What Is Better Young Athletes?

Hello. My name is Stephen Michael Kerr, and I am the publisher of Better Young Athletes. For over 30 years, I worked as a radio broadcaster, and have been a sports journalist for almost as long.

I started this newsletter out of a passion to see our youth sports culture change for the better. Each week, you’ll read about the people, teams and organizations who are doing things the right way. But I also won’t be afraid to address the issues that continue to cause damage to young athletes: discrimination, bullying, financial burdens, etc.

Facing the Truth

I have two children, both grown now. When my son was little, he played baseball, soccer and flag football. Like many parents, I fought that overpowering urge to push him to be a superstar, and get that athletic scholarship from a major college.

That didn’t happen. Playing sports just wasn’t his passion. But you know what? I survived, and so did he. Both of my children are making their mark on the world in other ways, and I couldn’t be more proud.

A Better Way

It wasn’t until I began covering youth sports on a regular basis that I discovered just how polarizing its culture has become. Like college and professional athletics, it’s a business. Kids are often thrust into highly competitive situations before they even learn to read. Parents pay thousands of dollars a year so their kids can play on elite travel teams and attend showcases, hoping some recruiter will come calling.

Don’t get me wrong. I’m not saying we should shelter our kids from failure (far from it). I believe they should be involved in some form of activity, whether it’s sports, music, art or something they can become passionate about. It’s even OK to allow them to compete and strive to be the best in their sport. But what good is all that if they’re burned out and no longer having fun?

As I interviewed coaches, parents and administrators, I was relieved to discover that not all of them subscribe to a win-at-all-costs philosophy. Many believe in using athletics to teach lessons kids can take with them when they’re grown, whether they remain in sports or not.

Let’s Build a Team

I’m always open to your feedback. If you have any questions or comments about the newsletter, or information you believe needs to be shared with the youth sports community, all you have to do is hit Reply on each post sent from me. It’s that simple.

Oh, and be sure to share this newsletter with anyone you believe will find it useful.

Together, we can give youth sports back to the people it’s ultimately all about: the kids.


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