Youth athletics is in transition.
The transition started with "how things used to be" when children walked to the park and developed their athletic and social skills by playing different sports and games until dark - usually unsupervised by adults.
Today, we drive our children from one adult-supervised, organized event to another and pay hundreds if not thousands of dollars to belong to the for-profit organizations that sponsor these programs. While it inuitively makes sense to say that a player will becomes a better developed athlete when exposed to licensed coaching and more aggressive competition, the reality is often different from this assumption. In today's enviroment, the odds have greatly increased that many of our children will:
- be forced to choose a single sport by the age of 8;
- emotionally-burn out on the sport by high school;
- endure physical injuries caused by the overuse the same muscles or joints;
- bear too much performance pressure too soon.
Common sense tells us this is just wrong. Yet the legacy community and volunteer-based programs struggle to adapt to the environment young athletes face today. They are simply not organized or resourced correctly. 30 years ago, when young athletes developed on the playground and community families spent less time traveling or working, these organizations worked well. But now, the lure of college scholarships and the larger disposable incomes of families have created an opportunity for private organizations to fill the void. These organizations operate in the "wild west" of youth athletics where anything goes and there is little to no oversight.
We believe that the current youth athletic environment is not optimal for the development of each individual child. It is still in transition. The optimal environment for athletic development is one in which children are connected to other kids in their community, the organization has large enough participation to offer multiple programmatic options within each birth year, the programs are designed by professionals who oversee their execution by volunteers and report to a Board of Directors that insure the needs of the majority are being met.
QVRA believes it's time for a new type of community-based organization to take back control of our youth athletic environment to help complete this transition. It has committed itself to transforming itself into the prototype of what it believes the community-based organization must look like in order to serve the future generations of youth athletes.