Sports and Children
We no longer live in a society where kids run around actively throughout the neighborhood. The sandlot baseball games, pick-up games in the park, and innocence in the children are gone in sports.
Today children are more interested in television computers, and video games, and parents are afraid of letting their children run around the streets because of kidnapping. Kids are simply no longer interested in physical activity.
A poll of over a thousand parents and one with students was done and the results show they blame inactivity on lack of time and homework. Whatever the cause is, we can see results with studies throughout the last few years.
22% of children are physically active every day of the week. 49% in grades 4-12 are moderate to vigorously active. 34% attend Physical Education classes daily. 23% don’t have these classes offered, because no all states have educational requirements for Physical Education and some have budget cuts in the program. 54% of children ages 6-11 are obese, with the obesity rates still on the rise.
There are a number of federal, state local school programs to help students reach fitness goals. The missing link in having physically fit children seems to be the parents. They are allowing children to remain sedentary with the television and computers.
Not enough children have parents who monitor their child’s activity schedules, expose them to physical activity, and who serve as role models in being active themselves Sports involvement and competition are very important in a child’s life, but sometimes can go too far.
Physical activity offers both positive and negative aspects in a child’s life. Physical activity is an integral part of the learning process at all grade levels/ Unfit children develop low opinions of themselves, dislike the activity, and develop antisocial attitudes.
Children need the physical and mental benefits of sports. Kids involved in sports will physically feel better about their bodies by being fit, they are less likely to have the risk of obesity later in life, and more likely to learn new skills. Mentally, sports stimulate intellectual development, sharpen motor skills, provide emotional and social growth, help with depression, and increase self-confidence.
A non-active child that becomes active in a sports program finds increased energy, longer attention span, improved self-esteem, and better communication skills. Students learn about their bodies and want to improve them to lead a fulfilling life.
Overall most children in sports enjoy themselves because they are having fun and meeting new friends] Athletics allow these children to interact with children of the same age with this similar interest thereby improving their social skills for later in life.
This experience in sports will serve as a positive model to follow when approaching other challenges and obstacles throughout life. There is a strong connection between academic success and athletics. Athletes especially in high school perform better and remain in school more than non-athletes.
In middle school, high school, and college there is an athletic eligibility grade point average. If the student doesn’t make the grades, they aren’t entitled to participate in sports. With this push in academics’ students now work harder in the classroom so they can participate.
Many students have sports to thank for being college students. Without the athletic money from the talent in the sport, most children of low-income families can’t afford it. college. These students at the college athlete level tend to be successful because of the high demands and expectations of grades.
In most schools, athletic eligibility is actually higher than graduation requirements. Studies also show in high school women have sex later, lowering the risk of pregnancy and disease. Young females also have higher self-esteem and the power to say no.
Competition is a very vital aspect of children involved ins ports that offers many positive outcomes and teaches a variety of life skills. Competition is necessary for excellence and a child needs competitors who are not much better or worse at sports for this development to be essential.
Without worthy opponent and challenges sports have not so much fun. The better the challenge the better opportunity a child has to go beyond his or her limits. Competition begins early in life even before a child’s first birthday. There is constant competition for attention, toys, and time.
Young children are bombarded with messages concerning competition often from parents. – Be the best! – We want you to be #1 – Have fun, it’s just a game – Give it your best shot – Winners never give up! Parents expect from these messages for their child to develop a healthy competitive attitude with success and self-esteem. This is often true.
Competition is an important means of motivating children to make the most of their potential in many areas throughout life. The ultimate goal of the competition is challenging oneself and to improve, the outcome does not matter and children will feel good about themselves for doing the best that they can.
Competition and the winning and losing aspect of this in sports can be used to build character in and gain a degree of self-knowledge in young children. Teamwork, perseverance, commitment, dedication, sportsmanship, loyalty, self-discipline, and compassion for others are all positive traits children can learn through competition,
Many are opposed to starting competition at a young age, but say if it does not start at the elementary level, children won’t be ready for high school. The goal is to be on the team and to get scholarship money. Teaching the skills and giving kids the experience of competition at an early age they are prepared.
In order to get college scouts to come to a high school, a good program is needed. Involvement in sports and competition can also be very negative for children. In today’s culture winning is believed to be everything. This may be because of parental involvement and professional sports putting a great emphasis n winning.
Seventy-five per of children in organized sports drop out by the age of fourteen because of over emphasis on competition. ree out of four children wouldn’t mind if no one kept score t all. They would prefer to lose and have fun than to win at all sts, but overzealous adults and parents drown voices out.
With Little League, soccer, and football programs increasing parental involvement is increasing as well. Parents watching their children compete brings out an unfamiliar intensity of emotion. They enjoy child’s success much more than their own.
The intensity and frequency of tantrums that many parents display at games are on the rise. Parents often yell at coaches for not recognizing talent, other parents, referees, and sometimes the child herself
They are believed to behave this way because they see in their children the embodiment of their own unfulfilled expectations and goals.
Children do not need this burden and stress; they are having enough trouble putting one foot in front of another without falling down. Too much stress can seriously affect a child’s ability to focus on skills and performance and competition can be seen as a threat and not a challenge. Some parents push their children so far in sports to a point where it is more work than fun.
The child may begin to feel they are playing the sport for their parents instead of for themselves. Some parents even use guilt or bribery to keep the child involved. Children cannot handle the parental pressure and stick with it to avoid disappointing these parents.
Parents who overdo themselves in sports make the mistake of punishing a child for a bad performance by withdrawing emotionally from him or her. The child may feel unloved because of this disgust and anger parents often portray. This can only ruin a relationship between parent and child. The field should be looked at and respected as a classroom where kids are to learn and have fun.
However; today people’s idea of baseball is what they see in the Major Leagues, children are expected to be a little Major League player. They lose interest because they are not ready for this pressure and feel the sport to be the only thing in their life.
Today clubs and travel teams are popular among children involved in sports. In these very competitive teams, there is no emphasis on character development and equal playing time. An all-out blitz for the competition is shown.
The young children in these leagues are pus ”led harder and sooner. Most of these clubs and travel teams hold tryouts and often make cuts. This can be very harmful to young children telling them they are failures basically.
Some children would do anything to be a part of this high-level team, but then finds out they are not ready. Their self-esteem decreases as they spend time on the bench. Suppliers say that they are giving kids what they want an opportunity to improve skills.
Sports are now the leading cause of injury among adolescents, more and more young athletes are damaging their still growing muscles and bones. The children play on a competitive team practicing almost every day on a year-round basis.
The duration and intensity are increased during training. The injury starts off as a pain or an ache but coach’s and players feel they can still be active in the game. These injuries tend to be over-use injuries such as stress fractures, tendinitis, and bursitis.
Children are not given the time necessary for the body to recover. Coach’s and parents both don’t realize children have growth tissue that adults don’t, leaving them more vulnerable.
These injuries were first noticed and tend to be more susceptible in boys because they play high-risk sports. Girls are also very susceptible to injury because of the increased body fat, decrease in muscle strength, and change in the alignment of the body.
Children are not ready at young ages to be using their muscles for vigorous physical activity. In conclusion-, sports can be beneficial to a child’s self-esteem, confidence, health, and social life. When a child is in an athletic environment that boosts his self-esteem, he will learn faster, enjoy himself more and perform better under competitive pressure.
Competition if not used in the wrong way can be a very good thing for children. The word comes from the Latin words corn and petite which mean together and seeking respectively. I’ Competition is seeking together where your opponent is your partner, not the enemy. World records are broken all of the time because the best athletes are seeking together and IL. challenging each other to superior performance. Athletes usually in higher-level grades do better academically as well.
Parents need to get children off the couch and away from the television set starting when they are young. Parents also need to know their role as a parent on their child’s athletic team. They are to be the child’s best fan and leave the coaching and instructing to the coach.
When a child stops having fun and dreads going to practices and games, a parent should realize they have gone too far.
The child that continues to play long after the fun is gone will soon be a dropout statistic. If they have their own reasons and goals for participating, they will be more; motivated to excel and be more successful.