In the book entitled A Sociological Perspective of Sports, Wilbert Marcellus Leonard II says, “Many of us have strong opinions as to the value of competitive sports. Some of our beliefs are based on personal experiences, others are not” (219). I have my own strong opinions about the value of sports, most of which are based on personal experiences. I have been surrounded by, and involved in, competitive level sports my entire life.
From the time I was born, I began attending professional volleyball games on the west coast beaches to watch my mom play in these matches. I spent many of my early years of life lying on the beach watching volleyball games. Once I was old enough, I participated in almost every sport that our local YMCA offered. I have been doing gymnastics since I was four years old and have been competing in it since I was eight. With gymnastics I have traveled all over the country. So far, I have spent the majority of my eighteen years of existence learning about sports and the benefits and drawbacks that come along with them. As I grew older, and my commitment to gymnastics increased, my friends began to see less and less of me. It seemed that anytime they wanted to plan something I was busy. They did not like that I spent so much time at the gym and they did not understand my commitment. I do not think that they ever believed that the benefits I gained from my experiences were worth my other sacrifices. However, despite bad days, crammed schedules, and questionable coaches, I have concluded that the good elements of sports far outweigh the bad. I believe that every child should be involved in some kind of sport because of the valuable lessons that are taught ...
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...r in professional sports.
In his book, Leonard states, “Many children are exposed to organized competitive sport early in life, and their success and failures may either enhance or jeopardize the self-concepts they develop” (219). As he implies, sports have a major influence on childhood development. Healthy exercise, discipline, time management, and social skills are promoted in sports and cause the success which enhances the child’s self-concepts. Despite arguments from those who tend to be left out when it comes to a child’s sports career, mostly friends from outside of the child’s sport or team, these skills are incredibly valuable in the adult world and I believe that a child benefits exceptionally from learning these characteristics at an early age. When these attributes are developed in a child’s experience of sports, the results can only be positive.
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