The pressures between youth and its sports programs Essay

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The Pressures Between Youth and Its Sports Programs

Over the last two decades the growth of youth sports has reflected the popularity of professional sports in our society. Sporting events and news are available to the public twenty-four hours a day on television and radio: sports is an enormous industry. The outstanding popularity of the sports industry has greatly affected youth sports organizations. In order to supervise, teach and manage these athletes it is estimated 2.5 million coaches spend an average of eighty hours a season with them. The majority of these coaches volunteer for programs organized by the community, religious organizations, and recreational facilities.
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. There are a huge number of children playing sports, but due to burnout, stress, psychological trauma, and lowered self-esteem as many as seventy-three percent quit sports by the age of thirteen. Rick Wolff, a former professional baseball player and coach, claims there are several factors contributing to this phenomenon such as: parents and coaches putting excessive pressure on children, specialization in one sport, over competitiveness, anxiety and loss of interest. This lack of interest may stem from the fact that they are cut from a team, injured, or receive little playing time. Another reason for high dropout rates is the structure of the programs. The sports programs are set up by adults, run by adults, and maintained by adults with a precise date and time. Spontaneous play and creativity are taken out of the equation. Coaches are choosing who plays and who doesn’t in an effort to win. A study found that 90% of all children would rather be on a losing team if they got to play. Alfie Kohn, author of “No Contest”, claims that competition will lead to the downfall of sports.
“The trouble with a hyper competitive culture like ours is that we not only leave the mechanism intact but we create a network of reinforcement for winning at any cost. Cheating and the like can be said to be over determined — called forth by both the intrinsic structure of competition and the societal attitude toward it. . .” says Alfie Kohn.
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