We've observed here on numerous occasions that kids don't play pick-up sports games anymore. Everything is organized under the watchful eyes of adults.
Now, there's growing evidence that's not such a great thing for a lot of kids, if that's the only physical activity they have. More kids are blowing out their knees in sports because they haven't matured physically to meet the demands being placed upon them.
Another aspect of this is the frequent parental perception that if their 11-year-old does not participate in every camp, clinic or extra training, they are not going to get that coveted college scholarship.
Not that many years ago, I led a youth sports organization at the community level and I actually had an angry parent tell me that because his 10-year-old did not make the "top team," I was going to be held personally responsible for messing up his kid's chances of getting a scholarship. Yep, 10. Years. Old.
I told him he needed to revisit reality soon and, in my best Minnesota passive-aggressive tone of voice, I told him to have a nice day.
I guess I was behind, or possibly, ahead of the curve. I dislocated my right kneecap 3 times my senior year playing basketball. It only took most of my 20's to realize the pain wasn't worth it. I haven't played b-ball for many years, and my knee's only ache when bad weather's a-comin'.