Sports Competition For School-Age Children Can Be a Good Thing
Many parents find themselves standing on the sidelines of a baseball game or a soccer game very early on in their child’s life. Cheering away as they watch their child make their first goal or hit their first home run. This is just a small glimpse for parents into the world of sports and competition where their child is concerned. According to Tami Coyle, from Arundel Soccer Association, “Participating in sports can be a good thing if handled in a healthy way (Coyle)”. Healthy competition is a great way to teach a number of great life lessons to your children provided the parents get involved. There are many benefits, “as they learn teamwork, good sportsmanship and the responsibility that comes with attending practices and games (Coyle)”. Lessons they learn in school age sports spill over in everyday life with classmates, friends, teachers and parents. Lessons learned can carry into adulthood and can be very beneficial as they take their journey through life. Children who are younger, usually seven and under, do not benefit as much from competition. This is a time for learning basics about the game. Kids this age do not have an understanding of the rules and they are for the first time introduced to the concept of winning or losing. Much time is spent trying to master skills and coordination. Flexibility with the rules and usually no score is kept to avoid making the game all about winning. They enjoy playing with teammates and just learning how to play as a team member. Parents, coaches and the kids do not feel the pressure Martin 2
and politics that go along with our older children. Parents can just enjoy the experience and have a great time just watching their children have fun. As children become older and have a better understanding of the rules, sports become a bit more competitive. Coordination and skills improve and the stronger...