This is, sadly, not something we’ve figured out yet. We’ve seen the same thing happening again and again. Someone with some fame, or success in sports, who can promise success for our kids, comes along, and we forget everything we know about the risks. We also fail to understand that a predator is not going to prey on every kid, that would make it too easy to get caught. They will look for a target:
“In a group of 20 kids, they’ll target the kid whose parents are separating or who don’t have the time,” Boueilh, who was not involved in the Leroyer trial, said in a phone interview. “When they have everyone’s trust, they go after the child.”
In Leroyer’s case, he wormed his way into families with marital difficulties and where fathers were often absent for work; families where his offers to help, to take kids to games, for burger meals, on holiday and even to tuck them in at night, were gratefully accepted, out of trust or necessity.
The article has some tips for parents who want their kids to be involved in sports, to get the benefits from playing on teams and being active, but also want to keep them safe. I’d go read it if you’re concerned about your own kids teams.