Youth Sports

In addition to traditional school sports, there are many not-for-profit, for-profit and municipal recreation sports programs and leagues available for youth participation.

Children, if taught and coached properly, stand a good chance of growing up to be productive members of society.

“When playing games, children learn how rules work. They see how groups need rules to keep order, that the individual must accept the rules for the good of the group, that rules entail a consideration of the rights of others,” Metzl and Shookhoof note.

It is likely that many adults who volunteer in youth-sports programs–in one facet or another–had positive youth-sports experiences as children.

Positive, well-established, and organized youth-sports programs can be one of the many factors parents use in their decision as where to live and raise their family. This can, in turn, raise property values and boost the local economy.

All of us should work together to help bolster and support local youth-sports programs in whatever way possible. It doesn’t matter how or which organization(s) you choose to support, just do your part to better the lives of the youth, the family and the community.


Jordan D. Metzl, M.D., Carol Shookhoff, Ph.D., The Young Athlete: A Sports Doctor’s Complete Guide for Parents;

Gary Gartner, CPRP, is the sports coordinator for the city of Apache Junction Parks and Recreation Department in Arizona. He can be reached via e-mail at

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