There are many trends in youth sports in 2021; unfortunately, the vast majority of them are a direct result of the COVID-19 pandemic and have carried over from the previous year.
Sports, for many parents and children, are a crucial part of growing up. They benefit a child’s mental health and physical fitness, as well as provide him or her with a social and fun environment in which to learn life lessons, such as teamwork and good sportsmanship.
That is why, fortunately, 2021 already seems promising. It is plausible that it is on track to becoming more flexible and freeing than 2020. Here are some trends that will carryover, however, and some that are sure to take root, this year:
Increases in Spending
In order to account for lost time, there is bound to be an increase in both the spending and the sign-ups for youth sports. With COVID-19 vaccinations on the rise, flexibility on the fields and courts should abound by spring, and kids will be itching to participate in athletics again.
Contemplating Moves and Travel
There have been some families that enjoy sports so much that they are willing to travel, or even move, to other towns, counties, or states with fewer pandemic restrictions. It should be said that many of these families are also using athletic participation as a springboard to academic scholarships.
Inequity in Sports and Remedies for it
Unfortunately, not all families can afford to travel or move just so their children can play sports. When it comes to the cost of participation, this leaves an even deeper divide between the haves and the have-nots than ever before.
That said, many underserved communities are continuing efforts to bring expensive athletic programs, such as ice hockey or lacrosse, to their areas. These less popular sports are trying to expand their bases in new and exciting ways.
It should go without saying that parents of athletes would probably want their children to be vaccinated for COVID-19 prior to playing. As time goes by, it is also not hard to imagine that the shot may even become a requirement.
Unfortunately, many parents of children that are waiting to be vaccinated may sign their kids up with forged documentation. This is something many programs anticipate in the near future.
Use of Technology
Like school and work, coaches are utilizing technology to communicate with players and their parents. Since in-person practice has been limited due to the novel coronavirus, virtual training and coaching has taken its place. Video practice is now standard and it can be just as effective.
In conclusion, hopefully, 2021 will be a much better year than 2020 for youth sports participation. There are definitely many parents and children out there that certainly cannot wait to get out of the house to practice and play.