Youth Sports are Beneficial

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Youth Sports are Beneficial

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Nearly every child, at one point or another in his young and impressionable life, has particiapated in sports. Whether it is a pick-up basketball game at a playground after school, or organized Little League, complete with ninety-foot bases and replicated major league uniforms, sports play an intricate part of the development and maturation of a youngster. Beneath it’s presumed purity, however, lies an occasionally seedy underbelly. Win-at-all cost coaches and tyrannical, overbearing parents have turned this innocent recreational activity into a nightmarish hell for some juvenile participants, and have left many wondering if sports is a helpful or a harmful stage in a child’s life.

Conventional wisdom tells us that the greatest rewards obtained by sport participation is how it enhances ones growth physically. A valid point, yes, but that cannot be the only reason. If so, how can you explain coaches and parents who take their amateur atheletes out for greasy pizza or fattening ice cream the minute after the last pitch is thrown or the final goal is scored? In a recent survey conducted by Sean Slade in the March 1999 addition of The Journal of Physical Education, Recreation, and Dance, 250 families who had children in grades three through five were asked a simple question: “Why do you want your child playing sports as they grow up?” Astoundingly, the responses were three-to-one in favor of the mental, rather than the physical

benefits that sports has to offer(Slade 1999).

Parents stated that aside from buidling muscles and strength, sports gives children a chance to learn about sportsmanship, teamwork, persistence, fair play, self-esteem, and above all, enjoyment. Sp...

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...ere lucky. Their grew up under the umbrella of kind, loving parents who knew when to push and when to let up. As a result, both have been huge hits, with Tiger winning everything in sight, and Kobe leading the Lakers to their first NBA championship since the days of Magic Johnson.

Sports helps children build self-esteem, loyalty, teamwork, and sportsmanship, invaluable lessons that can forever be implemented in the real world. It also helps gives a child social skills that he cannot possibly learn by reading a book, or spending hours in the classroom. Parents and coaches are the only ones who can really mar a childs athletic experience. And as long they root for their child, not against the others, and do not let a child do what he does not want to do, everything will be okay. Sports are vital, something no kid should be without. Take it from someone who knows.
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