National NFL/PTA Survey Shows Parents - And Children - Want Big Changes In Youth Sports Programs

Aug 19, 2003, 01:00 ET from National Football League

    NEW YORK, Aug. 19 /PRNewswire/ -- An overwhelming majority of parents
 believe their kids' sports programs focus too much on winning, with nearly
 half of those responding to a new national NFL/PTA survey saying organized
 youth sports need to be completely revamped.
     Results from the survey of more than 400 parents conducted at the National
 PTA Convention this summer include:
      * An alarming 84 percent of parents believe that youth athletic programs
        place too much emphasis on winning;
      * Nearly two thirds (64 percent) of parents say their child has expressed
        dissatisfaction with his or her sports experience;
      * A total of 44 percent said their child has dropped out of an activity
        because it made them unhappy.
     "It's time to scrap the scoreboard and give the game back to the kids,"
 said Scott Lancaster, senior director of youth football development at the
 NFL.  "Parents are now confirming what kids have known for years:  Sports
 should be about learning new skills, developing teamwork and self esteem and
 having fun."
     A total of 92 percent of parents responding to the survey called sports
 programs important or very important to the overall development of their
 children.  But the quality of today's youth sports programs is clearly a major
 concern.  More than half (56 percent) said the biggest negative plaguing youth
 sports is the fact that they are too competitive. Asked if they could change
 one thing about their child's sports experience, half of all parents said they
 would like their child's coach to be less focused on winning.
     NFL Youth Programs and National PTA have teamed up to tackle some of the
 problems facing youth sports.  The solution, both groups believe, lies with
 increased parental involvement and a new approach to youth sports developed by
 the NFL.  It eliminates the emphasis on winning, and focuses instead on
 individual skill development, teamwork, sportsmanship, and fun.
     More than five million kids -- including two million girls -- take part in
 the NFL's Youth Football programs: Punt, Pass & Kick, NFL Flag, Junior Player
 Development and High School Player Development.  For more information on NFL
 Youth Football programs,

SOURCE National Football League