It was as if I had won the World Series. Next I would be touring the country, signing autographs, and riding on floats in city parades. Everywhere I’d go, locals would triumphantly hoist me atop their shoulders as I would wave to the adoring fans. I believed this all to be true. I was on top of the world, and a member of the red Aces, the winning team of the Ridgway, IL, tee-ball tournament. At five years of age, this was no small feat. It was the most significant event of my dear little life. I felt like a rock star, a five year old rock star. Even since with monumental moment, athletics have always played a large role in my life. It’s obvious that at a young age, I desperately believed that I was great at sports, whether I actually was or not. To me, I was the cat’s pajamas. This sense of accomplishment is common at that age according to the Developmental Changes in Goal Orientation, which implies that effort equals excellence. Even before my tee-ball years, I remember playing sports with my family, baseball in the backyard, and basketball in the shed, depending on the weather. I had always been encouraged by my family, especially my mother who was a volleyball coach and had played several sports herself. She felt it was important for my sister and me to understand and participate in athletics. My mother would tell me stories of how my grandmother played basketball in the 30's in Tennessee. I was inspired by the women in my family and their experiences with sports. I wanted to be a part of something they were apart of and had thoroughly enjoyed. Oddly enough, it was my sister and I who excelled in sports, in comparison to both of my brothers. My family didn’t exactly fit the mold of the traditional gender stereotyping when raising sons and daughters. “Parents give more encouragement to sons than daughters in sports. Girls reported lower physical competence in physical activity than boys,” (Brustad, 1996). I participated in sports at an...
References: Brustad, R. J. (2006). Attraction to physical activity in urban school children: Parental socialization and gender influences. Research Quarterly for Exercise and Sport, 67, 316-323.
Deci, E. L., & Ryan, R. M. (1985). Intrinsic motivation and self-determination in human behavior. New York: Plenum.
Nicholls, J. G. (1984). Competitions of ability and achievement motivation. In R. Ames & C Ames (Eds.), Research on motivation in education: Student motivation (Vol. 1). New York: Academic Press.
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