One of the assumptions Statsky makes is that, “One readily understandable danger of overly competitive sports is that they entice children into physical actions that are bad for growing bodies” (627). This statement rests on the assumption that children would not perform any “physical actions that are bad for growing bodies” (Statsky 627) without organized competitive sports. This is simply untrue. Children jump from swings, climb trees, skateboard, “pop wheelies” and otherwise put themselves in physical peril with alarming regularity. Children’s free and unorganized play often results in broken bones and stitches, even for the most timid children.
Statsky also makes another faulty assumption, which is that competition is an adult imposition on the world of children’s play. She says in her article, “The primary goal of a professional athlete – winning – is not appropriate for children” (629). Children compete to win in the same way that adults do, and they do so on their own without any adult pressure. Common playground gam...
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...petitive sports can cause lasting harm and have no benefits for these children (Statsky 627), then examples of how childhood competition negatively affected individuals years after the fact would go a long way to proving her accusation. As Statsky's thesis rests on the assumption that adult imposition of competition and organization in children's sports makes the games neither satisfactory nor beneficial to the children, then lack of benefit must be shown along with lack of satisfaction. The existence of unsatisfied child athletes in organized sports is no indication that children are somehow unsuited to competition and team sports.
Statsky, Jessica. “Children Need to Play, Not Compete.” Reading Critically Writing Well: A Reader and Guide. Ed. Rise B. Axelrod, Charles R. Cooper, and Allison M. Warriner. 7th ed. Boston: Bedford, 2005. 627-631.
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