Competition vs Participation. At what age do they cross over?

I want to thank Katie Burt, Content Manager for CFC for bringing this issue to the forefront. On her Twitter feed, Katie posted an article from CBC Sports. Truth be told, I would never have otherwise read the piece. The article – “Why ‘shortening the bench’ in competitive youth sports can be a good thing”, was written by Jamie Strashin.

I hate hearing people stating that they are just being a “devil’s advocate”. They are trying to state their neutrality, while in my opinion, they tend to be opposed to the issue being discussed. Therefore my taking both sides of Strashin’s opinion is as close to being a devil’s advocate as I can tolerate.

Understand that the Strashin’s commentary revolves around 10-year-old hockey players; I repeat 10-year-olds. We have a problem when we determine that athlete’s as young as 8 or 10 are ready to be treated as elite. I would be 100% with his talking points if we were talking about athletes a little older; how much older – not sure. I am neither a sports psych expert nor a child psychologist.

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