Youth Sports

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The Purpose of Youth Sports Offered by Community Recreation Agencies Based on Competition, Everyone Wins, Character Development, Skill Development, and Fun. Kimberly Jones
Lindenwood University


Most recreational leagues are designed to teach the fundamentals. Focusing on the skills needed and the rules of the game, preparing both boys and girls for team play. Some kids’ athletics have gotten too competitive. Youth sports may not be about winning or losing, but it is about learning to compete as best as you can in everything you do. Some parents believe that we are seeing ‘professionalization’ of youth sports. The “everyone wins” concept has been seen as not enough acknowledgement of achievement. There are so many different things that contribute to character development. Youth sports can be a significant opportunity for young people to grow and mature. Recreational agencies have programs that can easily implement comprehensive motor skills. This program helps children develop the coordination skills essential for everyday living and playing sports. Having fun is the most important aspect of youth sports at recreational facilities. Without having fun there is no sport. Recreational agencies emphasize skill development in a supportive, non-pressured, non-competitive environment to help enhance a child’s self-esteem. Sports-based youth development programs provide the positive supports and opportunities youth need to be healthy contributing citizens now and as adults. A sports-based youth development experience is one in which youth learn sports along with life and leadership skills in a safe, fun, supportive, and challenging environment.

There are usually two extremes in youth sports: there is a belief that winning is unimportant in youth sports; at the other extreme is the belief that winning is the only thing. The actual beliefs should be in-between those two. The essence of sport is striving to win; without trying to win the activity...
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