I recently read an article in the St. Paul Pioneer Press that highlighted the fact that there are fewer and fewer kids participating in youth sports. I have to admit this really doesn’t surprise me. I have known for quite some time that we were losing kids. I have spent hours and hours listening to kids talk about their experience. For many, their participation has become a chore, dissatisfying, and without much value. I believe we have just begun to see the impact of kids having this kind of experience. I certainly do not think that every kid has this type of experience, many report having fun with their friends and loving their coach. What troubles me is WHOM we are losing. We are losing kids that desperately need to belong and have other adult role models they can look up to and be mentored by. Many of these kids struggle with friendships, social skills and playing with others. Because they are not participating in sports, a significant number of these kids end up spending much of their free time alone and never find a place of belonging and self esteem. When kids go without a place to belong and esteem-building relationships and activities…we as a society are in trouble. To sit by and watch this happen pains me deeply. This is why I believe we need to do three things. First, seek to transform the culture of youth sports by providing more specialized training to coaches, helping them do the things that maximize the opportunity before them. Second, help parents understand the damage they do when they over involve themselves in the lives of their kids. And third, reduce the emphasis of winning in youth sports and make it about fun, life lessons, times with life-long friends and Adult Mentorship. If we can do this many kids will be changed and the fire of youth sports will burn bright again. Join us at the as we seek to transform the culture of youth sports.