Interest and participation in organized sports for children, preadolescents, and adolescents continue to grow. Because of increased participation, and younger entry age, in organized sports, appropriate practice, game schedules, and content become more important, taking into account athlete developmental stage and skills. Parental support for organized sports in general, with focus on development and fun instead of winning, has emerged as a key factor in the athlete’s enjoyment of sports. Schools and community sports organizations who support multiple levels of sport (eg, recreational, competitive, elite) can include more youth who want to play sports and combat sport dropout. This report reviews the benefits and risks of organized sports as well as the roles of schools, community organizations, parents, and coaches in organized sports. It is designed to complement the American Academy of Pediatrics clinical reports “Physical Activity Assessment and Counseling in Pediatric Clinical Settings” and “Sports Specialization and Intensive Training in Young Athletes” by reviewing relevant literature on healthy organized sports for youth and providing guidance on organized sport readiness and entry. The report also provides guidance for pediatricians on counseling parents and advocating for healthy organized sports participation.
All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes
- Pediatrics, Perinatology, and Child Health