Fellow Catholic Dad, Eric, posted a video from late last year of Minnesota Gopher men's hockey coach Don Lucia on the state of the game and youth hockey, in particular.
His points, while they are not unique, are readily taken and many observers would agree they extend to all youth sports: There should be an emphasis on having good coaches and coaching the fundamentals, players are being weeded out at too young an age, the game should be scaled to the age and physical skills of the players, etc. I am sympathetic to all these things. He makes a parting shot that we need to give the game back to the kids, and this is where I have recently concluded I have a slight, but important, disagreement.
I captured a few days ago the idea that character (moral excellence) is something bestowed from one generation to the next, and sports is a vehicle to do that. In this context then, we should not give youth sports "back to the kids" because, in fact, we cannot give youth sports back to the kids; it was never theirs to begin with. Youth sports are not for the kids, per se. Youth sports are for adults to pass on to children. It is our franchise to exercise in "the democracy of the dead:" Tradition.