We are a small, independent media company on a mission to share the best of humanity with the world.
If you think the work we do matters, pre-ordering a copy of our first book would make a huge difference in helping us succeed.

youth sports

A group of girls playing soccer.

A mom is going viral on TikTok for her common sense view on how youth sports have become far too competitive and expensive since she was a kid. Her solution to the problem is to return to the past when kids played sports through their local parks and recreation programs. The leagues were affordable and less competitive than the sports clubs of today.

In a video, Alli remembers a time when she played soccer through the local rec center and although she wasn’t great, she still had a lot of fun.

“I loved soccer, and I loved my friends on the team. And literally, one of my best friends to this day, is somebody that I met playing soccer when I was in fifth grade. School now is not even really the place where you make your true substantial friends anymore because these kids are just constantly like, there's no fun time anymore,” she said in a video with nearly 90,000 views.

Alli contrasts her time playing soccer with today’s youth sports, where parents can be overly passionate and the leagues are highly competitive.

Sports for kids should be available to all #kidspsorts #recsports #baseball #hockey#soccer#basketball#sports #sportstiktok


Sports for kids should be available to all #kidspsorts #recsports #baseball #hockey#soccer#basketball#sports #sportstiktok

“Parents can be crazy. The coaches can be crazy. The tryouts are insane. Sports are what everyone used to say is, what keeps kids out of trouble, and it keeps kids on the right path, and we need sports. Yet all we've done is take them away from kids, and we've taken the opportunity for sports away from kids,” she said.

The abusive behavior shown by parents at youth sports games has half of all referees feeling unsafe while doing their jobs. The rude behavior by parents has resulted in signs being posted at youth sports games asking them to be polite. A popular one reads:

“I’m a KID. My coach is a VOLUNTEER … The officials are HUMAN … NO college scholarships will be handed out today.”

The mom believes the cost of playing youth sports has made it unaffordable for the average kid to play.

“The financial commitment for my mom to have me play soccer was a pair of $15 shinpads, a pair of $30 cleats, and the $40 registration fee for me to play for the whole season. Now, a single season of rec league baseball is $120. And I'm not stupid, I get it, that goes to the refs and all of that. But it just has changed drastically,” she said.

A recent poll shared by CNBC found that 59% of families experience financial strain from their children’s sports and 20% of them expected to spend over $1,000 in the fall of 2022. Things can be even more difficult for parents if their kids play club sports.

A FOX43 report revealed that parents spend anywhere from $500 monthly to over $12,000 yearly on club teams.

Alli believes that there’s a place in the world for athletic kids who want to play in the competitive world of club sports, but there should also be an option for kids and parents who just want to have a good time.

“Let the kids that play travel who excel at sports keep playing travel,” the TikToker said.”Let them play club ball. Let them play club hockey. No one is asking those kids to change anything. But we are asking for an opportunity for the kids who just want to play to have fun and meet friends to be able to do that again.”

One commenter noted that rec sports are still an option in some places.

“Our area has rec sports for all sports still. Our town and park district are still like that. No tryouts. Not expensive,” a user noted. “That’s amazing. It’s so location dependent, I’m seeing,” Alli responded.