These things collectively represent a perfect storm. There are no easy answers here. The system of youth sports is set up to cater to more elite players as they approach high school, leaving average kids with fewer opportunities. Our culture encourages specialization and achievement, which actively discourages kids from trying new things or just playing for fun. And all of this converges at a time when they’re going through major physical, emotional and social changes as well as facing pressure to pare down their interests and focus on school.
An opposing coach nominated the St. Joseph-Imperial 8th grade volleyball team coached by Patti Collins for a RAS. She said, "My team only had 6 players, and both teams worked very had in all 3 closely contested sets. In the 3rd game, one of our girls twisted an ankle and had to come out of the and cheer from the bench. After the match ended, the girls shook hands at the net, then all the St. Joe players ran over to our bench and shook the hand of our injured player and each one wished her a quick recovery. I thought that was a great act of Christianity and sportsmanship, especially considering St. Joe just lost a hard fought match. Our player has a severe ankle sprain and may not be able to play the rest of the year. She may not remember this act of kindness, but I will not soon forget it. It is great to see we have such acts in the CYC."