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. Without a national agency to coordinate sports programs, there exists great variation in the manner in which sponsoring agencies organize their teams, thus leaving plenty of opportunity for too much parental and coach control. Agencies have quickly moved American youth from unstructured play to highly organized competition. The structure of organized youth sports is the backbone for criticism and praise by professional athletes, physicians, and psychologists.
There are many that feel organized sports can be very beneficial and strongly support organized sports for youth. Some claim that sports aid in the development of social and interpersonal skills, health fitness and psychological well-being. Many feel that self-esteem and self-image can be greatly improved through sports. There are benefits that involve individual skill development, greater physical fitness, and higher self esteem. Other benefits include development of group cooperation teamwork and friendship-making skills. Psychologists around the country stress a need for an active life style to develop healthy self-images. Sports introduce children to healthy competition. A child's failure in competition helps them learn to win gracefully and lose with honor. It teaches youngsters that through perseverance and determination... [continues]
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