With a new decade upon us, I thought I’d run through a bunch of predictions regarding the field of sports parenting. Feel free to chime in with your own thoughts:
1. A new kind of football (and ice hockey) helmet will be introduced that dramatically reduces concussions (the most promising is called the Xenith, which works with air pressure pads). The research is very exciting.
2. More lawsuits will be filed against aluminum bat manufacturers. Thanks to the favorable decisions in recent months (such as the Brandon Patch case), more parents will look for damages for their kids hurt by line drives off metal bats.
3. LL Baseball will continue to fluster parents with their rules regarding pitch counts, days of rest, etc. In my opinion, they’ll even try and say that throwing curves is okay for young kids.
4. More and more colleges and universities will cut back on non-revenue producing sports, which in turns means fewer college scholarships. This is due to the lingering recession.
5. Unfortunately, we’ll continue to see more hazing incidents, as well as parents getting in the face of coaches. This just has to stop!
6. On the positive side, we’ll continue to see a rise in kids who understand sportsmanship and doing the right thing and as such, the kids who actually play sports will draw more from their experiences that we parents give them credit for.
7. And don’t be surprised if President Obama starts to put together some sort of meaningful Presidential Commisison on Youth Sports in this country. This would be of great help to coaches and parents everywhere who are looking for guidance in this increasingly complicated area.
All in all, let’s hope for the best in 2010! Happy New Year!