Youth sports have become a multi-billion-dollar industry. An industry run by adults that have forgotten what it’s like to be a kid. The Aspen Institute’s Project Play Initiative ran the numbers and found that 62% of kids have given up playing sports. The pressures put on young kids are just too much. The focus on winning, elite teams and traveling all over the place for competition is getting out of hand. Parents, coaches, and leagues are treating kids like pros, so we decided to do just that, one last time.
Derek Heyswiver, age 9, steps up to the mic to announce his retirement in front of the cameras. Just like any pro would. The spot debuted on ESPN SportsCenter along with an exclusive interview with Kobe Bryant. Sports stars also reacted on twitter by creating short social videos directed at any kid thinking about quitting. This monumental effort to change the game was supported by ESPN, the Ralph C. Wilson Foundation, USTA, Amazon, Target, Under Armour, Nike, NHL, NBA, the USOC and more.