With more and more children participating in some sort of organized sport than ever before, there is a constant concern regarding the pressures kids are brought into to excel. Emotionally over-involved parents often think that it is their responsibility to persuade, push, or support the children's fantasies or sporting objectives, even if the kids themselves do not share the same aspirations as his/her parents. Part of growing up is learning what interests you the most. It's how one becomes familiar with who they really are and what they enjoy doing in life. Unfortunately, for many young children, his/her parents seem to take his/her own lives into their own hands. Most parents want their kids to grow up to be "superstars", make it big after the college scenario, and perhaps go on to play professionally or succeed in the Olympics. We all know that there are the few that make it professionally, and having your parent paint a picture for you as you're barely going into grade school is unethical. Yet for the unfortunate, these kids are helpless to the pressure that is put on them at such a young age. Take Todd Marinovich, for example. For the child's entire life he was exercised, fed, schooled, and drilled with his fathers' one g...
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...iety now that is constantly changing over time. "It used to be that
youth sports [were] the one haven for good sportsmanship," says Darrell Burnett, a clinical child psychologist and youth sports psychologist. "Not anymore. It's not just a game anymore." With technology (etc) distracting our children with violence and so on, we cannot afford to ruin what sports may do for them. With sports being just one of the few things left that can contribute to success in life, education, and health, parents need not to put any sort of unnecessary pressure on their kids at such a young age, or any age for that matter, ever.
Rowley, S. (1986). The role of the parent in youth sports. In G.R. Gleeson (Ed.), The Growing Child in Competitive Sport, (pp. 92-99). London: Hoddon and Stoughton.
Lee, M. (1993). Coaching children in sport. New York: Routledge.
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