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The effects of competitive sports on young minds - Essay Example

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“Children Need to Play, Not Compete” is quite a challenging article authored by Jessica Statsky in which she attempts to scrutinize the effects of competitive sports on young minds…
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The effects of competitive sports on young minds
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Download file to see previous pages It is claimed that almost dramatic prevalence of organized or competitive sports in the US holds potential threat to children on multiple levels especially those aged between six and twelve. The article also contemplates how whenever there is an element of competition in a game or huge stress is placed by parents or coaches on young participants on winning it, unpleasant consequences occur. This is because many children feel unduly beleaguered during or after the game but unfortunately for them, they have to hide their true emotions from overenthusiastic elders who want them to act as remarkable child prodigies and outperform everyone else on the field by exerting themselves incessantly. However, discussion presented in this essay challenges the argument of Statsky and is meant to convince the readers that “children who have remained engaged in competitive sports activities since early age turn out to be more enthusiastic when playing games as adults later compared to those who are never encouraged to participate in demanding sports.” Despite Statsky’s argument that organized games like Little League Baseball and Peewee Football place huge burden on children because they incorporate adult standards, the fact worth considering is that it is smart activities like these which motivate many youngsters to shine not just in sports but in every other field of life. Children learn on this platform what it is like to defeat others on grounds of perseverance, bravery, spirit, and confidence. The importance of teamwork is inculcated in their minds and they learn how to treasure and defend their teams. They learn to appreciate how good teamwork lays the foundation of solidarity and success. In contrast to Statsky’s insistence that competitive pattern of sports can negatively influence both mental and physical development of children, attention should be directed at the enthralling assortment of valuable lessons which children take with them to their homes. If any negative consequences at all are associated with competitive sports, curbing such activities in the first place is definitely not an answer as promoted by Statsky. Rather people need to realize that any harmful influence exerted on children is not because of the games they play but parents or coaches are to be blamed for that. The authoress is right when she says that sometimes children participating in games like football are afraid to disappoint their mentors because of the looming prospect of harsh criticism. This explains why under such circumstances they try to continue the game despite not enjoying it or despite unusual strain exerted on their developing muscles. It is sadly true that some parents are principally interested in only thwarting other parents and their children and so they excessively pressurize their child to go all the way through to win the game. However, what needs to be done in this area is not arguing against the nature of competitive sports but insisting on regulating behaviors of parents, coaches, and children who participate in these games. Parents and instructors should be counseled about being more tolerant and children should be encouraged to say no to orders they find intimidating or impossible. Sports participation should not be colored in dark demeaning colors by media and journalists, rather poor adult behaviors need to be modified. Statsky defends her argument by claiming that many competitive sports activities often stimulate children to play in accordance with adult standards which understandably push them beyond their limits. This sort of strategic thinking behind competitive sports management is neither appropriate nor beneficial for children. Likewise, contemporary research recognizes that there is always a risk factor in any ...Download file to see next pagesRead More
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