|How to play soccer||
How to play and teach soccer
How to play soccer...
The time invested has made youth sports seem more than just a recreation. Children as young as 3 or 4 years old can get involved with sports-enhancement programs â€” many that weren't available a generation ago. The National Council on Youth Sports estimates about 30 million children under 18 participate in an organized sport, such as Little League and youth soccer.
Despite the abundance of opportunities, keeping a kids' interest with sports is a challenge. A 2001 study from the National Alliance for Youth Sports found that 70 percent of children gave up on sports by the time they turned 13.
The reason? Sports weren't fun anymore.
With much of today's society focused solely on who wins and who loses, Steele said he and the Oshkosh United Soccer Club work to keep a comfortable level of excitement and amusement.
"This does take up a bit of time and parents can push them here and there, but I think we're trying to provide something that's fun," he said. "Whether it's playing soccer or going to class, we really want to have kids that are confident in themselves and be able to work with others. There's a lot of values that can be instilled with sports. With our club, that's something we think is more important than just your win-loss record."
Steele said youth sports, such as soccer, also offer lessons learned off the field of competitive battle.
"Those skills come in handy when they get to college or the business world," he said. "Whether it's playing soccer or going to class, we really want to have kids that are confident in themselves and be able to work with others.
"There's a lot of values that can be instilled with sports. With our club, that's something we think is more important than just your win-loss record."
Youth sports, such as soccer, may also start being a symbol of status in society. A study by the Velocity Sports Performance found American households earning $50,000 or more were 14 percent more likely to choose sports than those households making less than $25,000.
Fran Finley said the funds put towards Stephen's and Elisabeth's soccer is money well spent.
"We decide where we want to invest our money," Fran Finley said. "If that means putting it for your children's future, then that's not a bad investment."