Major-League Advice

Derek Jeter, shortstop and team captain of the New York Yankees, goes to bat for youth sports.

Ages

7-9

176067972

Scholastic Parents: At what age did you become involved in sports, and why were they important to you as a child? 

Derek Jeter: I started playing sports around 4, and I knew from the start that I wanted to play for the Yankees. Sports were important to me because I liked being part of a team, and I'm very competitive.

SP: What role did your parents play in your involvement with sports as a kid?

Jeter: They were extremely supportive of my sister and me. Between the two of them, they never missed a game. My mother was not at my first major-league game because she stayed home to attend my sister's softball game.

SP: What is the most important thing to know about good sportsmanship?

Jeter: Whether in sports, in school, or at home, you need to know how to win or lose with class and treat everyone fairly. When I was a kid, I got in trouble because I didn't want to shake hands with the other team after we lost a game. My dad told me that if I couldn't be a good sport, I wouldn't be able to play at all.

SP: How can we improve the youth sports system?

Jeter: Sometimes the pressure can be a lot for kids to handle. It can be difficult to enjoy the game if expectations from adults are too high. The best thing parents can do to encourage their kids is to set a good example for them and support them whether they win or lose.

SP: How and why did you get involved with weplay.com? What do you think is the most important thing this Web site does?

Jeter: CAA Sports reached out to me about their new online youth sports venture, and it seemed like a great opportunity to connect with kids in a completely new way. It's the best of both worlds because you have this amazing online community, but the site is designed to encourage kids to get outside and actively participate in sports so they can be healthy and fit. I like the fact that through my partnership with weplay, I can support and encourage kids to lead active lifestyles.

Visit weplay.com to hear more from these and other pros.

Raising Kids
Age 9
Age 8
Age 7