Good Children In Sports: The Influences Of Sports Is A Double-Edged Sword Essay Example
Since more and more parents support their children to play all different kinds of sports, children sports have developed so quickly (Pate, Trost, Levin, & Dowda, 2000).Sports become an important factor that affect the development of children in various aspects. From the advantage and disadvantage perspective, sports can either enhance or discourage children’s physical, psychological, and social events. Therefore, sport is a double-edged sword for children. Analyzing sports’ influences within children perspective could help us evolve positive sides that sports may improve motor behavior and psychological health of children, and avoid the side-effects that sports may harm youths. Many researches show that sports give children more benefits than harms if sports play an appropriate role in children’s lives.
There are numerous researches on the relationships between sports and youth development. Some researchs are focusing on the positive side of children sports and are advocating that children should spend more time on the sports activities. However, the other studies are trying to show that sports activities bring some disadvantages to children in some particular cases. Combining those two aspects of studies in children sports, rationally analyzing the influences of sports among youth could provide opportunities to enhance children’s developments through sports activities.
Advantage of Children Sport
Before discussing side effects of sports to children we can look at the positive side. An abundance of studies indicate that in most cases sports bring a lot of good things for the new generations (GAO, 2012, Women’s Sport Foundation, 2004, EY Women Athletes Business, 2014 and Bailey, 2006). The benefits of sports to children are broadly classified into three categories, physical, psychological, and social developments for children.
Children’s physical development is the most distinct approach after participating in sports trainings and games. And also, it is the easiest to measure how sports affect children’s physical development (Bailey, 2006). According to the research of children skeleton mass, sports can facilitate children’s physical improvement (Slemenda et al., 1991). Depending on the gender, girls who played tennis had more bone mineral densities in their lumber spine, and boys who played baseball or basketball had more bone mineral densities in their Ward’s triangle (Slemenda et al., 1991). Increasing bone mineral densities can prove bone strength, and prevent the incidence of osteoporotic fracture (Chilibeck et al., 1995, p.104). Therefore, exercise sports help children build stronger bones to avoid osteoporotic injury in the future.Playing sports also rapidly decreases modern children’s morbidities. From the article of Bailey, (2006), “Evidence is starting to appear suggesting a favorable relationship between physical health, including diabetes, blood pressure, bone health, and obesity” (p.397). Today, about one in three American children had obesity because of the variety problems, such as high educational pressure, video games introducing and lacking of healthy meals (“Overweight in Children,” 2014). However, “cardiovascular fitness and weight control are among the most evident health benefits of physical activity” (Fraser-Thomas, Cote, & Deakin, 2007, p.36). In additional, developing physical movement skills benefit youth’s abilities for activities in their later lives. “There is evidence that those who have developed a strong fundamental movement skills are more likely to be active, both during childhood and later in life” (Bailey, 2006, p.397).
Psychological development for children is another accomplishment in which physical activities or sports have contributed. “Researchers have argued that activities such as sports, music, and the arts foster positive mental and emotional development” (Fraser et al., 2007, p.33). Sports can increase children’s self-esteem under some circumstances. Participating in sports will results in development of self-esteem and confidence of a child. The praising and encouragement from parents and coaches prop up them build confidence (Fraser et al., 2007). They will eventually learn to trust their abilities and can push themselves on their own. There is some relationship between youth self-esteem and body Body Mass Index which is a measure of body fat based on height and weight (Cole, Bellizzi, Flegal, & Dietz, 2000, p.1). Many children with high BMI had a low self-esteem. Nevertheless, increasing physical activities will directly affect the reduction in the risk of having a high BMI (Tremblay, Inman, & Willms, 2000, p.321). Therefore, playing sports indirectly increases youth’s self-esteem when they do not need to face any sneers from other classmates or friends. Sports also help children improve happiness and emotional well-being of children. “Gilman found that participation in structured extracurricular activities was associated with higher life satisfaction among youth and that the more formal activities youth participated in, the greater their life satisfaction” (Fraser et al., 2007, p.40). “Studies in older children have shown that improved mood and emotional well-being are associated with physical activity. Mood may be affected not only by the physical activity itself but also by exposure to sunlight if the activity occurs outdoors” (Burdette & Whitaker, 2005, p.48). During sports competitions children are criticized constructively and they will soon learn such positive criticism to benefit themselves. Competitions are very good to a child mental health development. The children will learn to cope up with setbacks when they frequently loss the game and later in their lives they will more resilient and sociable regardless of the situations (Bailey, 2006).
Moreover, social relationships developments for children are improved by playing sports. Participations in sports help children to develop social skills which will help them throughout their entire lives. They will learn to interact with children of their age, sports officials and coaches (Burdette, 2005). During these interactions they will learn team-building skills, communication skills and leadership skills which are of great important to them in personal relationships, future career and in schools. Playing sports involves players who need to coordinate to win the game. Therefore, learning how to build a good relationship with teammates, coaches and parents is important. Sports connect children to become high tied network, and illustrate the affiliation for children’s social interaction skills (Tremblay et al., 2000). Some sports, such as football, basketball, baseball, can create perfect social environments for children to engage other people. These kind of sports situations bring individuals from different social and economic background together in integrating a small society. The competitions of sports also evolve children’s social responsibility (Fraser et al., 2007). Sports are governed by rules and regulation and these limit children not to do all the time on their way. They taught to respect their peers, sport officials and referees. The experience they encountered in the field will influence them to respect other authority figures, police and their boss at their adult age (Fraser et al., 2007).
Children who are in most cases participating in athletics do excel in academic success as well. During participation in sports children learn the principles of hardworking and dedications which will extent the same to studies. It has been found out those students who participate in high school sports increases their chances of completing school.
Participation in sports by children upholds wellness and health throughout childhood and lifetime. Sports such as swimming involves coordination of body organs, all muscles in the body and brain functions and hence those tissues will properly develop due to physical activity. The participating children in sports have an upper hand in knowing choice of healthy foods through encouragement by their coaches and parents (Burdette et al., 2005).
Disadvantages of Children Sport
On the other hand, we need to analyze disadvantages of sports activities among the youth. From a negative sports perspective, we can also classify three aspects of the children’s sports disadvantage analysis as has been done above on top of other issues. The participation of children in sports has contributed to drawbacks to them. Some sports injuries have a lasting effects on children and some sports are costly therefore putting a lot of pressure on families and excludes children from humble background from participating (Abrams, 2001).
Primarily, physical injuries may be caused by intensive sports games for children. Because children are still growing, and their bodies are more vulnerable than the adults, physically hurts are more likely to happen to children during the competitions and sports games (Abrams, 2001). Children playing contact sports like volleyballs and footballs are vulnerable to suffer more from injuries and trauma. Strains and sprains have been reported to be the common injuries of contact sports (National Sport Centre for Safety, 2010). Furthermore, according to the sport centre for safety there are over 3 million children incur injuries as a result of sports annually. The impact of the ball has resulted into broken bones of children either during practice or during competitive events. Tears of the anterior cruciate ligament injuries occur now and then in young athletes because of rigors of competitions and practice. Injuries of the tendons and muscles occur to children during repetitive motion sports like swimming because of overused of specific group of muscles or joints (National Sport Centre for Safety, 2010).
Children in sports may have adverse psychological influences, such as anxiety; self-angry and angry to others during the games are increasing for children in sports. After researchers had interviewed several youngers who dropped from school sports team, they summarized those children’s common issues that too much pressure from parents or coaches made young players anxous and frustrated (Abrams, 2001, p.255). excessive amount of pressure on children will lead to a higher level of day-to-day stress that will have the negative impacts on the other side of the child such as studies and sleep. on top of that if children partcipate in too compettitive sports may make children to look their individual worth on the basis of how often they win. On this perpective the social skills and standing of the children are affected. Too competitive sports will put unneccessary presurre on a child so as to win the game. Some children may withdrawn from their peers if they are constantly not successful (Bailey, 2006).
On the other hand, there are some uncontrolled social behaviors which can develop as a result of children sports. In both competition and practice sports children are expose to some children who shows undesirable behavior (Bredemeier et al., 1986). At some instances children may eye witness some parents engaging in undesirable behaviors. These undesirable behaviors are yelling, violence in response or cursing to self-anger or anger to the player/opponent player or to a referee. Children may also witness parents fighting with other parents. Therefore children who are exposed to such kind of negative behaviors have a great tendency to mimic the similar situations. Increasing children’s aggression tendencies may be caused by young players lack consideration of maturity while they observe the high contact sports. In the future and subsequent games, some children will fight other opponents, yell on teammates, or crush some public goods because they have been induced to do so from the behavior of other children and parents (Bredemeier et al., 1986). As Bredemeier,Weiss, Shields and Copper mentioned in their article, decreasing morality level is the other problem with children sports activities (1986). “To a small extent, then, boys who had more experience in high contact sports reasoned at a lower moral level than boys who had little or no high contact sport experience”(Bredemeier et al., 1986).
The time taken by children playing sports is often too much to sway them away from studies and family. The time for practice, competitions events themselves, travel and downtime between games is often long leaving little time for studies, play and family. Children will be deprived their to develop social skills with friends outside the organized sports. The academic performance of children participating in sports are in most cases affected because they have little to concetrate on read especially when they are over-booked (Abram, 2001).
Sporting activties requires siginficance amount of financial investment. Children must be given uniforms, provide them with registration fee and bought them sporting equipments where all these involve money. They entrance fee to parents and family friends is also required. All these financial requirements will put a lot of pressure on the financial economy of the family (Burdette, 2005).
Sports not only give children’s benefits but also bring some side affections to their lives. In order to develop sports’ positive consequences for children, analyzing advantage and disadvantage of sports’ influences within children is necessary.
Abrams, D. E. (2001). The challenge facing parents and coaches in youth sports: assuring children fun and equal opportunity.Jeffrey S. Moorrad Sports Law Journal, 8(2), 254-283.
Bailey, R. (2006). Physical education and sport in schools: A Review of Benefits and Outcomes. Journal of School Health, 76(8), 397.
Burdette, H., & Whitaker, R. (2005). Resurrecting free play in young children: looking beyond fitness and fatness to attention, affiliation, and affect.Arch Rediatr Adolesc Med, 159, 46-50.
Bredemeier, B., Weiss, M., Shields, D., & Cooper, B. (1986). The relationship of sport involvement with children’ moral reasoning and aggression tendencies. Journal of Sport Psychology, 8, 304-318.
Cole, T. J., Bellizzi, M. C., Flegal, K. M., & Dietz, W. H. (2000). Establishing a Standard Definition for Child Overweight and Obesity Worldwide: International Survey. BMJ, 320(1240), 1-6.
Chilibeck, P. D., Sale, D. G., & Webber, C. E. (1995). Exercise and Bone Mineral Density. Sports Medicine, 19(2), 103-122.
Fraser-Thomas, J., Cote, J., & Deakin, J. (2007). Youth sport programs: an avenue to foster positive youth development. Physical Education and Sport Pedagogy, 10(1), 19-40.
Overweight in Children. (2014). American Heart Association. Retrieved from http://www.heart.org/HEARTORG/GettingHealthy/Overweight-in-Children_UCM_304054_Article.jsp
Pate, R., Trost, S. G., Levin, S., & Dowda, M. (2000). Sports Participation and Health-Related Behaviors among US Youth. Arch Pediatr Adolesc Med. 154(9), 904-911.
Slemenda, C. W., Miller, J. Z., Hui, S. L., Reister, T. K., & Johnston, C. C. (1991). Role of physical activity in the development of skeletal mass in children.Journal of Bone and Mineral Research, 6(11), 1227-1233.
Tremblay, M. S., Inman, J. W., & Willms, J. D. (2000). The relationship between physical activity, self-esteem, and academic achievement in 12-year-old children. Pediatric Exercise Science, 12, 312-323.
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