Competition in Youth Sports
When children enter a sport for the first time in their life, one main goal is to have fun and to meet new friends. They do not have a care in the world, and are just there to learn about the sport they are learning. Being in a sport brings many positive aspects to a child’s psychological growth. It is only later in their involvement in sports that they find out how competitive it can be and how there is more added pressure from not only their coaches, but their parents as well. Despite this, there is still a growing population in children in sports. According to the National Council of Youth Sports, there was a major increase in youth sport participation in organized sports in 2008 of 40 million boys and girls (Mango, 2010). With this great increase, there is a constant thought going through every parent’s minds: is competition good for his/her child? Competition is beneficial for a child, however there needs to be some boundaries for how parents and coaches get involved in the child’s performance. Even though the media only shows the bad views on child competition, because it gives a better story, it gives the children the necessary skills to get ahead in the world they will have to face as adults.
Some downfalls to competition too early in a child’s age include pressure to win and intense training schedules (Stenson, 2004). This is usually brought on by the adolescent’s parents who try and make their child the best they can be without realizing that they are ultimately pushing their children further from the sport and in some extreme cases the kids may start to resent the parent that pushes them to do something they do not want to do. The intense training schedules as a young child puts too much stress on the kid because usually around this age is when they start grade school and they need to stay on top of school work they are being pressured by their parents to do well in their sport program.