In the last 100 years, youth sport has grown to be commonplace regardless of one’s race, gender, or their families’ income level. Yet before WWII, youth sport and their respective tournaments were primarily populated by poor immigrant families. Afterwards, youth sport grew in popularity, especially with the middle class. “It wasn’t until the 1970’s that youth sport for both sexes was embraced by upper-middle-class communities, where parents came to believe that competitive youth sport was a requirement if their kids were to be successful” (Woods, 2016). As more parents grew to value youth sports positive influence on their children, growth skyrocketed.
According to Jessica Statsky’s essay titled Children Need to Play, Not Compete, most children under the age of 12 do not need competition in sports. Claiming that organized sports are not “satisfying nor beneficial” for young children, Statsky expresses her concerns over a few issues. Supporting her thesis, Statsky discusses the negative physical and psychological effects of competitive sports. She further asserts that most children do not enjoy competition by citing a study about how most children would prefer to be on a losing team that allowed everyone to play rather than a winning team that may bench them due to performance. Also, she states ‘scorekeeping, league standings, and the drive to win bring(s) out the worst in adults’.
Youth sports in America reflect and support the nation’s gender roles and stereotypes in society by utilizing the preconceived notions concerning the attributes of, differences, between, and proper roles for men and women in U.S. culture. Because there is already the preconceived idea that boys are supposed to be more athletic, assertive, aggressive, strong, and competitive than girls, more attention is given to them regarding athletic training. Examples of this favor towards boys are shown through the youth sport t-ball, the precursor sport to baseball. Studies show that boys receive more playing time than girls and are assigned to more played positions that provide more opportunities to touch the ball and develop skills as well as more time hitting the ball at the plate. In addition to these, boys also receive more coaching advice, while girls’ mistakes go uncorrected and boys also receive more praise for their successes.
In high school football, boys are battered on the practice field and game day. Opposing teams can’t let that touch down happen. Players are hit harder and harder to the point where they occasionally get concussions. The demand to play college football or even in the NFL has increased, as do the harder hits. And with those harder hits come the bigger bruises, concussions and injuries.
There has long been the debate for whether kids should be allowed to participate in competitive sports. Most people against say that sports make kids get severely injured, which is true, but only if the kid is unprotected and not in a safe environment, which is not the case with sports these days. In fact, sports promote more of a healthy lifestyle. Sports also promote life skills and help kids later in life Sports should be for all ages and kids. The first reason kids should have competitive sports is that sports promote life skills at young ages.
WHAT IS EARLY SPORTS SPECIALIZATION? Early Sports Specialization (ESS) has a wide definition. It is characterized by intense year round training in a single sport by student athletes. Children are participating less in free play, opting more often for indoor activities such as watching television and gaming. Although youth activity has been on the decline in recent years, the number of organized youth sports is actually on the rise.
In the articles “The Secret Life of Tiger Woods” by Wright Thompson and “Are parents ruining youth sports?” by Michael S. Rosenwald both concept the sacrifices one has to take to be an “elite athlete”. I firmly believe that the sacrifices taken to become an “elite athlete” are not ultimately worth it in the long run because of the injuries and health management. To support this, the author from “The Secret Life of Tiger Woods” proclaimed “...he fell down in his backyard without a cellphone and had to just lie there until his daughter happened to find him.” This quote the type of pain Woods lived through because of all his intense golf training. Furthermore, in the article “Are parents ruining youth sports?”
As my brother plays in his tournament for high school basketball I hear my mother screaming at him. She's telling him to try harder, run faster, rebound more, and to have fun. Although it is a tournament and everyone wants the team they are for to win, they also all want those boys to have fun. Sports aren't always about winning. Especially since these boys are still in high school, they're just kids.
Twenty years ago, children across the country played multiple sports to stay in shape, make friends, but mostly, to stay active. If you were an athlete back then, you would go out daily and practice the "sport of the season" will your friends, such as: baseball in the spring; soccer in the fall; and basketball in the winter. Fast forward to now, where most athletes are still following this practice, however, more and more athletes are focusing on just one sport at a younger age. I believe that this "one sport specialization" is wrong because it can harm an athlete's physical, mental, and social well being.
Summary In “Children Need to Play, Not Compete,” Jessica Statsky tries to demonstrate the negative effect of organized sports on the physical and psychological health of growing child. She claims that the games are not festive but they end up in the wrong development of a child’s brain. The coaches and parents have high hopes for their children that result in the pressure building. This changes the purpose of sports from teaching tolerance, teamwork and sportsmanship to merely winning by all means.
Imagine you love playing sports but now the school is about to band all sports in you school, what would or could you do to stop this from happening? I have read some different types of articles based on is sports are good or bad. For example, I read the article name “Have Youth Sports Become Too Intense?” and in this article the issues of sports are good and it is bad are debated.
In the article, “The Secret Life of Tiger Woods” by Wright Thompson, the author explains the life of champion golfer Tiger Woods after his father’s death. The article “Are parents ruining youth sports? Fewer kids play amid pressure,” by Michael S. Rosenwald illustrates how fewer kids are doing youth sports due to the constant pressure of feeling not good enough. Both of these articles explain how growing up with sports have affected the lives of many, however, I believe that the quest to become an “elite athlete” is not worth the many sacrifices it requires people to make. Many people give up so much in their life to become athletes, but ultimately it results in regrettable long-lasting problems which would never have happened if the sacrifices
In the articles, “The secret life of Tiger Woods,” by Wright Thompson, and, “Are parents ruining youth sports? Few kids play amid pressure,” by Michael S. Rosenwald, both analyze the lives of varied athletes that have sacrificed things to get to where they are now as an elite-athlete. Although in my opinion, I think the quest to becoming an “elite athlete” is ultimately not worth the sacrifices it requires.
I definitely believe most youth sports are too intense. The coaches always want their team to win, so they are hard on the players. Sure, winning is great but the fun is taken out of the sport when winning is the only thing on the coach's mind. When you have a coach who is there just to help you have fun, and you get along with your teammates you play a lot better. I have had personal experiences with both overbearing coaches and coaches who were there to just help us have fun.