Youth Sport Participation: Beneficial or Destructive?
Many children today enjoy various types of sports. Participation in youth sports has steadily been on the rise. Millions of children across the country take part in one or more youth sports throughout the year. It is not unheard of for children as young as four or five years old to be participating in youth sports. But is youth participation in these sports destructive or beneficial towards children? And at what level of sport intensity may this participation be destructive or beneficial? Something that is beneficial causes a good result and is advantageous. While something that is destructive causes much damage. Youth participation in sports can be defined in a numerous amount of ways. This participation can include something as intense as contact football to something as relaxing as fishing. Some believe that children should start as soon as they are able to walk, while others believe that sports should begin in high school when a child is almost finished with their physical and emotional development. There is plenty of controversy over this trending issue. But which side is correct. There are many explanations that support each side of this heated debate.
Children today are interested in sport participation because they want to have fun, improve their physical skills, and make new friends (Metzl). While some children may receive these factors as a result of sport involvement, they may also be obtaining some negative factors as well. It has been proven over thousands of years that children do not
always know what is best for their physical and mental well-being. Thus, leaving the responsibility on the guardians of the children.
Some parents may think that by putting their children into sports at a young age they are benefitting them by teaching them valuable life lessons that, they believe, could not be taught elsewhere or through a different organization or activity. These parents may believe that they fully understand the importance of intense physically activity. They may argue that sport involvement for a child is beneficial because studies show that it can help build better social skills, self-esteem, and study motivation that help them do better in the classroom. Parents may also want their children to be involved in sports because they understand that, especially in America, obesity is a rapidly growing problem. People who are overweight or obese are more likely to have health problem (“Women’s and Children’s Health Network”). Another reason that these parents may want their children to participate in sports is because studies have shown that children and young people who play and enjoy sports are less likely to partake in anti-social activities (“Women’s and Children’s Health Network”). Sport participation has also shown psychologists that by being a part of a sporting organization or group, children are less likely to get into trouble. This has been backed up by many factors. The first being the amount of time required to participate in most demanding sports. Another factor that youth participation in sports helps children stay out of trouble is by raising their confidence levels. Children involved in sports have been said to develop the ability to make decisions on and off the field or court. Involvement may also help children better accept responsibilities. Both of these factors can potentially take a part in the way that deviant children lash out in destructive manners. These deviant children try to stay away from the norm, while sporting organizations try to make their participants conform to. The children may also Pennington 3
try obtaining the necessary attention that a child might otherwise receive in a sporting organization.
On the contrary, there are some other parents that believe that sport involvement at a young age is nothing less than destructive, not only physically, but mentally as well. These parents believe that...
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