Environmental Effects on Athletes
Another way to explore how athletes are affected by different factors preventing or causing them to perform at their highest level is through their environment. Coaches, parents, peers, childhood, and even the media can manipulate athletes. A coach can get you out of your game by giving too much feedback or not any at all. Parents often put too much pressure on their child, making them either excel or, for others, burnout. Starting sports at a young age can also have it benefits, like teaching healthy competition and life lessons. On the other hand, it can lead to more injuries in the long run or teach them unhealthy sportsmanship. For older athletes, it’s the peers and media that can have a strong effect. Bad influences in the media and criticism from reporters can take over or overwhelm athletes and cause them not to reach their full potential. Athletes need a certain environment to perform to their optimum ability, through their childhood and even as they grow older. The childhood of an athlete is the most important time to build the characteristics of a champion. Certain factors in an athlete’s childhood can strongly determine not only if they are successful in sports, but also in life. A healthy environment can help children in their sports to “increase physical and mental health, learn healthy competition among peers and the sense of belonging gained by being part of a team” as Lucie Westminister, a psychology researcher and writer, says (Westminister 1). Coaches and parents are key factors in creating this healthy environment. Giving kids praise for their performance can bring out desirable changes in behavior and promote responsibility. Anything as simple from a pat on the back, to a nod, can affect a growing athlete. According to research found by Westminister “coaches who give positive reinforcement, provide effective feedback, and foster a caring climate provide the best developmental outcomes for children”...
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