Role Models For Rookies

Darryl: I don’t think being pushed for better competition is good. Children advance at different rates. If they are the best in their age group, this does not mean they can handle playing up in an older age group or will excel with older children. Skill level is not the only issue to consider. There is also the social and emotional maturity level, as well as the cognitive level.

Fred Engh is founder and CEO of the National Alliance for Youth Sports (NAYS) in West Palm Beach, Fla. He can be reached via email at To join more than 3,000 communities by starting a NAYS chapter, visit or contact Emmy Martinez at or (800) 729-2057.

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