Being a professional athlete is one of the most commonly heard dreams of a young boy or girl who currently elementary school. Whether it is realistic or not, these kids will be participating in the sport that they wish to thrive in. But, time after time we hear adults complain about their child’s insane soccer schedule, or how they have to spend their whole weekend traveling for games. The parents complaints shouldn’t be the topic of discussion, in fact the only opinions that matter are the children. The question shouldn’t be asking whether or not youth sports are too intense, it should be asking if it is worth it. If a child loves what they’re doing then they have every reason to continue playing their sport, but if they are not all in, he or she has to question whether or not all the craziness is worth it.
Each year in the United States, more than 36 million school-aged children participate in an “organized sport” (“Youth Sports Statistics”). Especially over the past few years, many studies have proved or disproved the idea that sports are beneficial for young kids. Those studies have found that youth sports have both positive and negative effects on young children, and research shows parents and coaches have the greatest effect on a child’s experience.
Sports are a popular pastime among all ages and types of people. People not only participate in them for fun, but also for money, physical fitness, rush of competition, and for many other personal reasons. Playing sports is especially common among young people in schools. Athletics are great and enjoyable for many reasons, but there can be a point where sports participation can go too far and become negative for children and adults. Sports specialization for young people is an increasing trend that results in sports having a negative impact on individuals and society.
Benefits of Youth Sports“Sports do not build character. They reveal it,” said John Wooden, legendary UCLA basketball coach. Playing sports not only provides physical activity, but also other positive benefits. This is especially true for children. A well-structured and organized youth program will provide benefits and positive experiences for young athletes. While children are having fun participating in sports they are also building character, learning to work as a team, and playing fairly. Most people think the only benefits of sports are physical. Sports are more than just developing hand-eye coordination and burning calories, youth sports provide many developmental benefits, physical benefits, and psychological benefits.
Sports can be viewed as a learning environment that helps individuals learn life lessons, foster strong work habits and develop core values all the while learning a sport skill. Youth sports that truly benefit young athletes should be structured to emphasize participation more than just competition. Children enjoy a sport more when they are able to have fun (Humpries). Despite many excesses some sport programs still manage to promote important virtues like self- confidence, teamwork, personal responsibility, coping skills, and persistence. Through sports kids can learn to stay organized and learn how to prioritize (Ferguson). Sports enables development of physical skills and increasing proficiency makes kids feel good about themselves. It teaches kids that failure is something to overcome and and not to fear (Meyerhoff 8-9). Youth sports has many aspects that are truly benefiting for children, but these benefits are slowly being clouded by the negatives that are prominent in today's youth sports.
Organized youth sports are extremely common among youth and their families, with nearly 45 million children and adolescent participating in the US. There are many characteristics children can develop while playing sports such as confidence, self-esteem, and leadership. Competition can help kids improve learning and reach greater levels of excellence than they would be able to without the ongoing challenge. Competitive sports can also help keep kids active and healthy as they grow, along with decreasing other distractions that may lead to an unhealthy lifestyle. People argue that competitive sports can destroy self-esteem and lead to dissatisfaction. Children can learn to hate sports and physical activity, fear taking risks or trying new things, are scared to fail or make a mistake, and start to believe that winning is the most important thing in life. Programs and coaches that overemphasize winning, early specialization, stress, and overuse injury are all problems in youth sports. This paper examines the positives and negative aspects of competitive youth sports such as skills gained, lifestyle changes, lowered obesity rates, early specialization, untrained coaches, increasing injury rates, and my own personal experiences throughout sports.
Competitive sports in some cases are becoming very unhealthy for children. Most children would rather play on a losing team than sit on the bench of a winning team. Youth sports are a great idea to get children up and active, as well as improve their social skills. Just like every other thing in life it is important to practice and work hard to achieve success. However it is unhealthy to push for results over the needs or wants of the child. Aside from the mental stress that young athletes may experience from intense training and physical play long lasting injures is now a growing concern. Fact is competitive sports is a double edge sword if done right it is the greatest thing world, but if done wrong it can be very unhealthy for a child.
In the past 30 years, the direction of sports within the youth has drastically changed. In the past, young athletes aimed to play in several sports. Now, athletes focus themselves in one single sport and year-round extensive training has been encouraged by most adults in a young athlete’s life whether they are a parent or a coach. Allowing the youth to participate in sports is frequently considered “a great way to develop leadership skills” and “an appreciation for individual and team accomplishments” (Sailor). Along with the rise of Sport Specialization, concerns pertaining to a child’s physical and psychological health have begun to increase as well. Early Sport Specialization may lead to greater risks in a child’s life such as injuries,
One thing almost every young child looks forward to is the activity of play. Kids love nothing more than to go outside, run around with friends, and get dirty. If children are already active at a young age, why not encourage them to continue by enrolling them in an organized youth sport program? Young people will gain many positive experiences by participating in organized physical activities, but none as important and influential as the social skills, physical skills, and mental skills developed and nurtured during their time in youth sport. As a result, the young participants can continue to build upon and cultivate these skills which will ultimately be transferred into their development as successful adults. Along with the social and
According to the American Academy of Pediatrics Council on Sports Medicine and Fitness, the goal of youth sports "should be to promote lifelong physical activity, recreation and skills of healthy competition”(Source A). The American Academy of Pediatrics on Sports
Nearly every child, at one point or another in his young and impressionable life, has particiapated in sports. Whether it is a pick-up basketball game at a playground after school, or organized Little League, complete with ninety-foot bases and replicated major league uniforms, sports play an intricate part of the development and maturation of a youngster. Beneath it’s presumed purity, however, lies an occasionally seedy underbelly. Win-at-all cost coaches and tyrannical, overbearing parents have turned this innocent recreational activity into a nightmarish hell for some juvenile participants, and have left many wondering if sports is a helpful or a harmful stage in a child’s life.
Children who participate in sports are developing rapidly in sports skills, sportsmanship, and psychologically, but does this come from organized sports are just nature’s process. Children develop emotional and social benefits from participating in sports. Children experience character and leadership development through peer relations leading to an increase in self-esteem and a decrease in anxiety levels. Children will get opportunities to experience positive and negative emotions throughout their practice and games trials. It is important for the coach to understand the “psychology of youth sports and physical activity participation” (Weinberg & Gould, 2011 p.516).
Youth sports are an incredibly healthy way for kids to grow and release energy. Children in preschool can begin to take part in sports like dance and soccer, and as they grow older, the lists of sports gets longer. However, there are negatives of sports that are often not talked about by parents, coaches, schools, or the media. As a result, stigmatization occurs, leaving children struggling with sports to suffer alone. With youth sports, elevated levels of stress occur, and as a consequence, mental health can decline. Youth sports can have an adverse psychological effect on young athletes and it is an effect that can be damaging for children for their entire lives.
Sports may not be all that good for children. Some people might say that sports can cause injury, children won’t get a chance to play if they are not very good, or children may be made fun of for lacking skill in that particular sport. I believe that participating in sports has a much more positive impact on children. Sports can help children’s health approve, help them develop new friends, and can help improve the children’s self confidence.
Organized youth sports are extremely popular among youth and their families, with approximately 45 million children and adolescent participating in the US. There are many characteristics children can develop while playing youth sports such as confidence, self-esteem, leadership, respect, independence, assertiveness, and conflict resolution. Competition can help kids learn more, improve faster and reach a higher level of excellence than they would be able to without the ongoing challenge. Competitive sports can help keep kids active and health as they grow, and other distractions increase that may lead to an unhealthy lifestyle. People argue that it can destroy self-esteem and lead to resentment. Programs and coaches overemphasizing