Youth participation in soccer continues to decline, despite the best efforts of the cultural elite to promote it.
Over the past three years, the percentage of 6- to 12-year-olds playing soccer regularly has dropped nearly 14 percent, to 2.3 million players, according to a study by the Sports & Fitness Industry Association, which has analyzed youth athletic trends for 40 years. The number of children who touched a soccer ball even once during the year, in organized play or otherwise, also has fallen significantly.
In general, participation in youth sports nationwide has declined in the past decade, as children gravitate to electronic diversions and other distractions.
Yet in recent years, while soccer continued declining, baseball and basketball experienced upticks, buoyed by developmental programs begun by Major League Baseball and the National Basketball Association.
This was always predictable, as soccer never had strong appeal. Youth soccer leagues were middle-class suburban creations, designed as safe spaces for white kids. No one says it that way, but that’s the reality of youth soccer in America. As a result, the soccer infrastructure is labor intensive. It requires lots of parents volunteering to make it work. It also requires a lot of cash. Maintaining a segregated anything in modern America is expensive, which is why real estate in a place like San Francisco is so pricey.
In fairness, all sports have seen a decline in youth participation. People like to blame video games and social media, but those are symptoms. Youth sports require a high degree of parental support and involvement. They also require infrastructure. That local ball field exists because the city, town or county makes it a priority. That happens when you have a society of strong families adhering to traditional roles. When those families are not there to volunteer and agitate for youth sports leagues, inevitably those leagues atrophy.
Most people struggle to understand long term trends, so it is not surprising that it is easy to peddle the idea that video games are the cause of this. Parents today see the decline and just assume it is a new thing. The fact is, kids vegetating in front of a video screen is just another symptom of the same main cause. When most kids grew up in normal homes, there was more organic structure to their lives, so they were less likely to indulge in whatever strikes the fancy of a child. There was a parent around to provide guidance.
It is the hidden cost of ripping women from their homes and putting them to work. Those mothers and grandmothers, staying home to raise their kids, provided a hidden infrastructure to American life. In stable, healthy societies, women maintain the social organizations and the social life of the community. When women are working ten hours a day at an office, that social work does not get done, so something fills the void. That has been the sewage of popular culture, along with state provided stand-ins for the parents.
Traditional sex roles also work as a bulwark against mischief. Fifty years ago, even public schools in poor areas could expect plenty of mothers volunteering to help with various school projects. They would also be the main labor pool at the church and other voluntary community organizations. It’s hard to corrupt these organization when mothers and grandmothers, people with skin in the game, are there to make sure those organizations serve their interests. Take away the mothers and the degenerates run wild.
The fact is, if you were looking to exterminate a people, by that I mean destroy their culture and identity, the first thing you would do is put the women to work. It’s not an accident that invaders who kill off the men and marry the women almost always adapt to the culture they conquered. That’s because the culture of a people is their women. Men have a role, but primarily as the guardians of the engine of their culture. Women are the ovens that bake the bread. Take away the oven and there can be no bread.
By ripping women out of their homes and putting them to work like field slaves, modernity has destroyed the natural framework of society. The state has tried to fill the void, which is why per capita, inflation adjusted government spending has quadrupled as women moved from the home to the workplace. All that government supervision of children and maintenance of synthetic community organizations comes with a direct cost, which shows up in paychecks and the cost of goods. It’s one reason the middle class is broke.
On a more esoteric note, what the modern age has been is an elaborate strip mining operation, where the hidden capital is monetized and carried away. Another example is what we see with Amazon destroying retail. The price of cheap stuff delivered to your office is the harvesting of the social value of local business. Instead of Johnny’s Appliance Warehouse sponsoring your kid’s baseball team, it is a government run program paid for by your property taxes. Without local business, there are no local sponsors.
Again, if the point is to kill a people, the first step is to put their women to work, turning them into economic units, like farm animals. From there,. it is easy to strip out the rest of their organic infrastructure that maintains their culture. Before long you have a collection of people with no identity of their own, wholly dependent upon their masters. That’s where we are headed as a society. It’s also why fertility rates are falling in the West. Why would anyone bring a child into the world when life is just pointless work and consumption?