By Wendy Plump
No one is asking children to give up their sports. But it’s getting a little crazy out there.
In one generation, sports have gone from child’s play to a proving ground for elite athletes—many of whom haven’t even graduated eighth grade—who commit to strenuous schedules, trainers, travel teams, coaches, aggressive tactics, and year-round seasons that give a young body no quarter for rest and growth. Coaches book flights to cities far beyond their hometowns. Parents shell out thousands of dollars for participation fees. And college recruiters wait eagerly in the background until it’s time to dangle offers that are impossible to resist. more