The United States gives the world a lot of talented athletes in many sports. Many athletes from other countries also live and train here.
Henrykh Karpinskiy, a Ukrainian immigrant living in Washington, DC, expressed his opinion on why sports are so popular and successful in the United States in his blog for the Voice of America Ukrainian service.
I think that among the reasons why at many international competitions it is US citizens who come to the award ceremony is the popularity of sports as such in American culture, the developed sports industry, as well as attracting a huge number of children and young people to sports and support from parents who Finance the promotion of their offspring to victory.
All these factors provide a large number of young people who are engaged in sports and among which there will definitely be future Champions.
Children’s sports in the United States are a mass phenomenon. Almost every child is engaged in at least some kind of sport in one way or another, and most of them have tried several types. Many children play two or even three sports.
Football fields and basketball halls are never empty. There is always a train or played by children and adults. Each school district will have at least 1-2 martial arts schools.
Children’s sports in the United States are an integral part of everyday life. On the street or in the store, you can always see children in sports uniforms. At work or at parties, sooner or later people start discussing their children’s latest games or sports achievements. Sooner or later, a family with children is somehow drawn into sports life. Children can start playing sports from about 2-3 years old. The most popular sports for the youngest are gymnastics and martial arts.
Of course, the main driving force is parents. In the United States, there is no Department of sports, no Central state sports system, and not even close to any state funding for sports.
There are sports that can only be played by children from wealthy families or those that can find a sponsor: these include yachting and equestrian sports. A family with an average income can send a child to gymnastics, figure skating, or hockey, but this can become a significant financial burden for the family budget.
At the same time, most children’s sports organizations where children learn to play football (European and American), basketball, volleyball, Rugby, lacrosse – volunteer. They are organized and run by volunteers who do not receive any money for it. The administration and coaches are parents of children involved in these sports who have the time and inspiration to work with children. These clubs are the base for most children who start their sports career. They start playing European football at the age of 3-4, and American football at the age of 7.
When a child grows up and moves to a top-level team, playing sports can cost a little more for the family. Professional coaches are already being hired for such teams, and young athletes take part in various tournaments, where their parents pay for their trips and sports uniforms.
Sponsors of such clubs are often small and medium-sized businesses whose owners or employees are somehow connected with the club.
Despite this seemingly “unprofessional “and” decentralized ” approach, these clubs gather a lot of children. In our suburb of Washington, which has a population of about 50,000, there are 3 children’s sports clubs where children are taught to play football, basketball, volleyball, field hockey, lacrosse, and baseball. For example, in our club only about 2500 children play in European football teams in the age categories from 4 to 17 years. Each season in a simple “home” League will cost $ 80-100 per player.
The club reserves up to 5,000 hours of field time for the season. Professional clubs work very closely with children’s clubs. For example, children’s sports teams are given tickets to games at a discount, open training sessions are arranged for volunteer coaches, children can take part in carrying the team’s flag on the field or “bring out” the players of a professional team.