Feedback: Youth Sports, College Suicides

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We got a lot of response to our conversation with members of the Positive Coaching Alliance, about bad parental behavior at their kid's sporting events.

We spoke with Rob Crawford, school administrator and coach at the Fay School in Southborough, Mass. who has first hand experience with over-involved parents, who he says feel too entitled.

"Elizabeth in RI" commented on our website and she agrees with Rob's assessment:

Today youth sports have become a HUGE investment, both in terms of money and time... This means that we as parents are more invested in every aspect of these activities... With the fame and money at the professional (and even college level) some parents do hope that these sports [will] take their kids "all the way."

"Jim G" believes the emphasis in kids sports in the U.S. is in the wrong place:

I see two competing goals... with the way we structure sports in the US... kids are looking to have FUN, but many parents want to see their child excel or win.

Looking at the Netherlands and perhaps other European countries, team sports are geared around clubs that also provide a social outlet... This approach enables continue playing at the level that suits their ability for as long as they like.  Sounds like FUN!

Our conversation about how colleges and universities are helping students with mental health issues after two MIT students committed suicide this semester prompted listener "EM" to share this:

My son just withdrew from school last week (as a freshman) because he was suffering badly from depression.  [He went] to the student health center in October....however [he couldn't get a] therapy appointment [until] late November.  Unfortunately we had no choice but to suggest he come home — or possibly have a tragedy on our hands.  If [the problem of college suicides] is such a major issue, why aren't schools staffed to accommodate?

"MM" commented:

It is very difficult to balance the need to provide students with support services beyond academics with the cost of higher education. When institutions are vilified for rising tuition, people need to consider the cost of providing a host of... non-academic services, too.

We always welcome your feedback so keep those comments coming.

This program aired on November 11, 2011.


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