You’ve probably seen them in the park, at the local high school or even at the gym: private trainers working with kids, sometimes as young as four or five years old, on sport specific skills.
There are now generations of kids being raised with top-notch instruction from a private coach or even coaches.
Sometimes they end up as high draft choices and wealthy professional athletes, like Hunter Green, a 17 year old who got a $7.2 million signing bonus from the Cincinnati Reds in June. He made sure to thank the 3 private coaches that have been working with him since he was 7.
The truth is, most kids won’t get a $7 million bonus or even a college scholarship. They will stop playing their sport in either high school or college, for one reason or another. Just like they always have.
Professional training for kids is not really a new concept. There have been sports academies all over the world for gifted young athletes in sports like; tennis, soccer, and hockey, for at least the past 40 years.
Whenever we watch the Olympics we hear about devoted parents that moved their kid, sometimes across the globe to work with a specific coach.
The difference nowadays is how prevalent it is. In fact it’s everywhere. If you don’t believe me, then what I’m about to tell you will blow your mind:
Private athletic training for kids (including high school) is now a $4 billion dollar industry. No joke.
A lot of parents feel like they have to do it, in order to give their kid a fighting chance. There are many more parents that would do it, if they could afford it.
I think it’s great if you can afford it, as long as it’s not a substitute for a parent spending time with their kids, or taken too seriously. The only caveat being, if the kid really wants to push themselves, in high school.
Sports are a big part of socialization, and our kids are growing up in a more crowded and more competitive time than ever before.
Developing a skill and having some success in sports helps kids confidence grow. Plus, working out is a healthy habit that will hopefully stay with them as they get older and stop playing organized sports.
One of the best bonuses is that it’s time they aren’t spending looking at a screen, be it phone, computer or TV. Which is idle time for their bodies and usually not so wonderful for their brains.
How bad are the screen time and obesity problems in this country?
We now have the first generation of American kids that are not expected to live longer than their parents. Enough said.
From a personal stand point, with private coaching I’ve seen my son’ skills grow much quicker and farther than I could teach him. And as a teenager, he now has built-in adult mentors he trusts, (that aren’t his parents), he can turn to for advice.
Can your kid succeed in sports without a private trainer or coach? Of course they can. If they are focused and driven and have parents that will sacrifice a lot for their success.
The thing is, there are many kids with coaches with the same drive and devoted parents.
So, if you can afford it, I say give it to your son or daughter as a gift. A healthy one.