It is important to realize that sports may have some disadvantages for children.
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According to the Center for Kids First in Sports, 30 to 40 million children in the United States compete in organized sporting activities. The benefits of participation include increased physical and mental health, healthy competition among peers and the sense of belonging gained by being part of a team. Despite these valid arguments for children participating in sports, there are a number of disadvantages that should be considered. While the overall recommendation is not to avoid participation, awareness can help prevent any undesirable outcomes.
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According to the National Center for Sports Safety, over 3 million children under the age of 14 incur some type of injury as a result of sports. These may occur as a result of practice or a competitive event. Broken bones can result from direct impact of a ball or a fall during competition. Injuries such as tears of the anterior cruciate ligament (ACL) occur more and more in young athletes due to the rigors of practice and competitions. Repetitive motion sports, such as swimming, may cause injuries to muscles or tendons due to the overuse of specific muscle groups or joints during training.
Unsportsmanlike behavior is modeled in a variety of sporting situations. In both practice and competitive events, children are exposed to other children who may exhibit undesirable behavior. Examples include yelling,