Sports And Children

Sports And Children We no longer live in a society where kids run around actively throughout the neighborhood. The sandlot baseball games, pick up games in the park, and innocence in the children are gone in sports. Today children are more interested in television, computers, and video games and parents are afraid of letting their children run around the streets because of kidnapping. Kids are simply no longer interested in physical activity. A poll of over a thousand parents and one with students was done and the results show they blame inactivity on lack of time and homework.

Whatever the cause is, we can see results with studies throughout the last few years. * 22% of children are physically active everyday of the week. * 49% in grade 4-12 are moderately to vigorously active. * 34% attend Physical Education classes daily. * 23% dont have these classes offered, because no all states have educational requirements for PE and some have budget cuts in the program.

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* 54% of children ages 6-11 are obese, with the obesity rates till on the rise (Hellmich 1997). * There are a number of federal, state, and local school programs to help students reach fitness goals. The missing link in having physically fit children seems to be the parents. They are allowing children to remain sedentary with the television and computers. Not enough children have parents who monitor their childs activity schedules, expose them to physical activity, and who serve as role models in being active themselves.

Sports involvement and competition is very important in a childs life, but sometimes can go too far. Physical activity offers both positive and negative aspects in a childs life. Physical activity is an integral part of the learning process at all grade levels/ Unfit children develop low opinions of themselves, dislike activity, and develop antisocial attitudes. Children need the physical and mental benefits of sports. Kids involved in sports will physically feel better about their bodies by being fit, they are less likely to have the risk of obesity later in life, and more likely to learn new skills (Krucoff 1998).

Mentally, sports stimulate the intellectual development, sharpen motor skills, provide emotional and social growth, help with depression, and increase self-confidence. A non-active child that becomes active in a sport program find increased energy, longer attention span, improved self-esteem, and better communication skills (Sports Psychology). Students learn about their bodies and want to improve them to lead a fulfilling life. Overall most children in sports enjoy themselves because they are having fun and meeting new friends. Athletics allow these children to interact with children of the same age with this similar interest thereby improving their social skills for later in life. This experience in sports will serve as a positive model to follow when approaching other challenges and obstacles throughout life. There is a strong connection between academic success and athletics.

Athletes especially in high school perform better and remain in school more than non-athletes (Krucoff 1998). In middle school, high school, and college there is an athletic eligibility grade point average. If the student doesnt make the grades, they arent entitled to participate in sports. With this push in academics students now work harder in the classroom so they can participate. Many students have sports to thank for being a college student.

Without the athletic money from the talent in the sport most children of low-income families cant afford college. These students at the college athlete level tend to be successful because of the high demands and expectations of grades. In most schools the athletic eligibility is actually higher than graduation requirements. Studies also show in high school women have sew later, lowering the risk of pregnancy and disease. Young females also have higher self-esteem and a power to say no (Krucoff 1998). Competition is a very vital aspect of children involved in sports that offers many positive outcomes and teaches a variety of life skills. Competition is necessary for excellence and a child needs competitors who are not much better or worse at sports for this development to be essential.

Without worthy opponent and challenges sports I not so much fun. The better the challenge the better opportunity a child has to go beyond his or her limits. Competition begins early in life even before a childs first birthday. There is constant competition for attention, toys, and time. Young children are bombarded with messages concerning competition often from parents (Tye 1997). Be the best! We want you to be #1 Have fun, its just a game Give it your best shot Winners never give up! Parents expect from these messages for their child to develop a healthy competitive attitude with success and self-esteem. This is often true. Competition is an important means in motivating children to make the most of their potential in many areas throughout life.

The ultimate goal of competition is challenging oneself and to improve, the outcome does not matter and children will feel good about oneself for doing the best that they can. Competition and the winning and losing aspect of this in sports can be used to build character in and gain a degree of self-knowledge in young children. Teamwork, perseverance, commitment, dedication, sportsmanship, loyalty, self-discipline, and compassion for others are all positive traits children can learn through competition. Many are opposed to starting competition at a young age, but supporters say if it does not start at the elementary level, children wont be ready for high school. The goal is to be on the team and to get scholarship money. Teaching the skills and giving kids the experience of competition at an early age they are prepared. In order to get college scouts to come to a high school a good program is needed.

Involvement in sports and competition can also be very negative for children. In todays culture winning is believed to be everything. This may be because of parental involvement and professional sports putting a great emphasis on winning. Seventy-five percent of children in organized sports drop out by the age fourteen because of over emphasis on competition (Picon). Three out of four children wouldnt mind if no one kept score at all.

They would prefer to lose and have fun than to win at all costs, but overzealous adults and parents drown voices out (Spaid 1997). With Little League, soccer, and football programs increasing parental involvement is increasing as well. Parents watching their children compete brings out an unfamiliar intensity of emotion. They enjoy childs success much more than their own. The intensity and frequency of tantrums th …

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