The Pros And Cons Of Youth Sports

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With around 45 million kids enrolled in some type of organized sport, it’s clear that youth sport is a massive part of American culture. Most people remember playing a rudimentary form of soccer or basketball during elementary school, when rules weren’t too important, and having fun was the only goal. While nearly everyone can recall playing some kind of organized sport during their childhood, a very small percentage of people stick with sport beyond middle school, and even fewer go on to play after high school. The amount of children who quit organized sport during adolescence has raised questions about the psychological risks of youth sport. Youth sports in and of themselves are not an inherent problem; however, issues do arise when children are asked to take on too much at too young of an age. While there are risks associated with youth sport, organized sports also provide …show more content…

Children who participate in sports are less likely to be overweight or obese, have higher self-esteem on average, and are generally more invested in their academics. Sports are oftentimes seen as a gateway to academic opportunity, particularly for kids with fewer resources. While this logic is inherently problematic, it is true that high schoolers who were involved with organized sport were more likely to be enrolled in college later on. Youth sports also give children a place to develop socially by teaching them about teamwork, leadership, and compromise. Team sports in particular can provide children with a sense of belonging to a group, and therefore increase their self-esteem and improve their social competence. There are dozens of reasons why youth sport is important and beneficial to a child’s development, and with millions of participants each year in the United States alone, it doesn’t look like youth sports will be going anywhere anytime

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