Young Derek is two years old and comes from a very athletic family. The son of a professional football player and a WNBA basketball star, Derek's future is set for athletic success. At the young age of three, he runs with his father and plays basketball with his mother. He eats only natural food; white sugar, white flour, and other processed food are cut from his diet. At the young age of six, he plays three organized sports: basketball, football, and track & field. Most of his formative years help develop his strength, speed, and muscles. His father forks out thousands of dollars for him to be mentored by the most elite coaches in their training fields. Years pass; Derek becomes the star quarterback for his high school football team and earns a football scholarship to USC and while playing, draws the attention of NFL scouts, resulting in being drafted by the San Francisco 49ers. Derek's childhood is not too different from many American youth parents' who dream of only the best for their children, not knowing the effects of their efforts. Youth sports are a foundation for social development, a competitive experience, and a practice of healthy habits. But more than that, youth sports is a host to fun and exciting activities for children. Parents involve their children in sports, enabling their children to experience both the fun and excitement of competition. Sports are also a platform for children to learn lessons that they will carry with them in their daily lives. However, the very people who encourage them to participate in these sports often cross the line between competition and fun. At what point do parents and coaches stop to think that they may be pushing their athletes or childern beyond thei...
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...impress anyone. Also, "sports are a great equalizer: rich or poor, black or white" youth are able to communicate and work with all races developing "people skills" needed to succeed in life (). The qualities children learn through youth sports will help them in their personal and professional lives. In addition, "attention from interested adults is not only flattering but also helps them overcome shyness and develop poise when talking to relative strangers in social situations" (Metzl and Shookoff). Children experience winning and losing games, adversity, championships, and after game meals or treats. Children have fun with these activities and like doing them. As a result children begin to develop a competitive instinct, which promotes healthy development. Parents must not allow sports burnout to deprive their children of the fun and excitement found in youth sports.
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