The Effects Of Organized Youth Sports On Children

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Organized youth sports are one of the most popular activities in the US and have been for many years. There are approximately 45 million children who play youth sports. [Merkel] This number translates to about 75% of families have at least one child who participates in an organized sport. [Gajula] The most common reasons for children choosing to play a sport are to: have fun, learn new skills, and make new friends. The reasons for parents placing their child in sports are so: their children can compete against others, receive a challenge and strive to be better, and to set winning as a goal for sports and for life. Other important benefits are building good character, obtaining confidence and high self-esteem within themselves, earning respect and leadership roles and skills, acquiring assertiveness, and learning how to deal with conflict. Sports help children build good character or serve as a building block for good character. Many life lessons are taught through experiences while playing a sport. The challenges in life these children are going to face require discipline, earning and giving respect, and taking accountability for one’s actions. Children who play sports learn the physical, mental, and emotional rewards for these traits, or the consequences for the lack thereof, and get a taste of what the real has in store for them based on their decisions. Children learn that the choices themselves or another teammate makes affects the whole team. “A sign of wisdom and
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