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February 1, 2013

So Where's the Coach?

by Tracy Jensen

My daughter likes to participate in some kind of activity every season. This winter she opted to try cheering for the basketball league. Two days before practices were scheduled to start, the organizer emailed all the parents and canceled cheer squad because they were unable to line up a coach.

Of course, my daughter was upset, but this got me to thinking how hard it is to find people who are both willing and able to coach these types of activities. I am on the organizing committee of our youth soccer league AND a working mom, so I get both sides of this problem. But never (in our experience) has a thing just been outright canceled before, so I wonder, are kids regularly sitting out of physical activities because there is not enough adult participation to make it happen? Are budget constraints and understaffing reducing the number of school extracurricular activities offered?

The message is pretty clear that we should be encouraging our kids to get out and play, and league sports are a great way to do it on a regular basis. But the availability of these programs is often linked to the level of adults available to put them on. Have you found that there are limited opportunities for your child to play sports due to a shortage of coaches?

Photo: iStockphoto

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