Karen Clark, Starr Walker, Danielle Veney
February 25, 2013
Competitiveness in Youth Sports
Sports are way for young adults to exercise and build character. Two vital components among sports today are the love of the game, and a competitive spirit. It is these two components that enable children to learn many values that will aid. Sportsmanship, fair play, and integrity are just a few of these values. Finding a balance between the two, however, is nearly impossible. It is important to find a balance between the two to build the necessary character among young adults today. This paper will touch base on the sportsmanship, recommendations, and influence in youth sports. It will also give a brief overview of the history pertaining to youth sports.
Youth sports have been around for decades where children were already engaging in some type of sports. Children would play baseball, basketball, football, and various sports picking his or her own teams and making up his or her own rules. However, today youth sports have become organized by the adult world that includes parents and organizations. Organizing the first baseball little league was by Carl Stotz in 1938 in the state of Pennsylvania. Although parents sometimes become coaches for his or her children’s sport teams, professional organizations keeps youth sports safe and healthy. The National Council of Youth Sports was established in 1979 and “represents more than 200 organizations/corporations serving 60,000,000 registered participants in organized youth sports programs” (National Council of Youth Sports, n.d). NCYS promotes safety, injury prevention, education, and integrity for youth sports. NCYS also helps communities create healthy and safe environments for youth sports. Youth sports have become so competitive today that it is no longer enjoyable for the children. Parents and coaches are focusing on winning the games and pushing the children too hard. Parents are also fighting and arguing on the fields during game play making it very difficult for children to enjoy the sport. The adults in organized sports mostly think about winning the championships, gaining a reputation, and receiving college scholarships for the children. Competitive sports in youth can lead to intense training schedules, pressure to win, and painful injuries NBCNEWS (2004). Children are starting completive sports at the young age of five or six. Sports for children should be a fun, safe, and healthy, along with developing and building skills to compete in the world of sports. However, today sports are just the opposite for youth such as stressing, less enjoyable, and winning for the pleasure of adults. Sports in Society (2007) states that “youth sports have become more competitive and less fun for those who matter most: the children.”
Sports should be fun for young people along with building character and the ability to work well with others. Forcing a child into a sport and making demands on the child to perform diminishes the fun aspect of the sport. It is a pressure that has the young person looking at it as a means of demand, intensified stress, and can develop anger issues. When the fans get involved they can be crucial to the mindset of the young person. They tend to build them up and tear them down when they make a wrong move. Even though the sport involves children, when adult spectators get wrapped up in a game, no matter the sport it is preceded often with verbal violence and physical assaults on referees, parents of the child and more often the chills as well. As an athlete, the youth involved should always make advancement from the beginning to the end of the season. This gives them the outlook that they are making progress and accomplishing goals, making a young person want to continue participating in sports. When children get involved into a sport, they are involuntarily introduced into an