Letter from the Director of PlayLCA
Welcome! Thank you for your interest in PlayLCA. Our mission is to develop well-rounded, fundamentally sound athletes who appreciate all aspects of practice and competition and who are committed to good sportsmanship towards coaches, officials, and other players.
Young children are being “trained” like varsity athletes. Kids aren’t “playing” anymore. They are performing. And the saddest part? This high-intensity approach to youth sports is driving kids away in droves. Seventy percent of young athletes are dropping out of organized sports before high school. (O'Sullivan, 2014) Early specialization is leading to record burnout and overuse injuries, and this probably comes as no surprise but MONEY is the current driving force in youth sports.
Years of pushing kids too far, too fast has created a giant skills gap in players. We have “elite” or “travel ball” players who do not have a firm grasp on the fundamental skills needed to be successful at a particular sport. We need to slow down. Back up. And remember what youth sports are really all about – the kids!
At PlayLCA, we believe in age-appropriate introduction to multiple sports with a focus on skill and character development. We have quality, trained coaches who are committed to making learning FUN! We want our players to LOVE the game they are playing. Why? So that they keep playing! Lessons learned in sports happen over time and those who play the longest benefit the most.
Sports should be fun for kids … the way they were fun for us.
Winning follows fun! Winners are constantly striving for excellence and that isn’t always something that can be measured on a scoreboard.
I love competition. That is why I still train and compete as an adult. I believe that you should only ever play or race to win – otherwise, you haven’t given 100%. I tell my kids all the time there is a difference between simply winning and truly racing … Everyone likes to win. Winning is fun. Racing, though … racing is hard. Racing is painful. Everyone likes to win, but very few people are willing to actually race.
Let us raise and coach up a generation of kids who are not only unafraid to race, but are hungry for competition and have a willingness to give 100% of themselves without being guaranteed a particular outcome. Only when losing is a possibility can you really, fully appreciate the effort and risk that it takes to win … on the basketball court, on the soccer field … and in life!