Sports can have a great impact on a childs life and can help them grow not only as an athlete, but as a person. Growing up playing sports you meet many new and different people, which helps you learn how to adapt and get to know new people more quickly. Playing competitive sports, you meet people with the same interests and you can develop long lasting friendships. Children learn to participate as a team not just as an individual; this will be needed throughout someones life through jobs, relationships, and much more.
Character and integrity are associated with competitive sports. These two characteristics are not built through competitive sports, but are revealed in a competition. The hope is that you learn to do the right thing and make the right choices, which is character and integrity at its finest. Competitive athletes are consistently involved in situations where they are challenged. This not only occurs on the competitive field of play but in the practice gym as well. When this happens, their level of perseverance and determination will be tested.
The hope is that they become stronger within over time (Mango). They also learn discipline, how to set goals and how to achieve those goals. Kids involved in sports are less likes to take drugs or smoke because they realize the impacts that these destructive activities can have upon their performance. Girls who play sports are also less likely to become pregnant (McEntire). Some parents believe it is too much too soon, and that there is a misplaced emphasis on the wrong things such as winning at all costs.
Children mature at different ages and may or may not be ready to play in a healthy competition. Competitive sports typically require strategic planning and other more complex cognitive abilities however, they dont perform as well under the pressures of competition until they are closer to twelve (Ray). The child has to learn how to lose gracefully and often the costs of the lesson outweighs the types of lessons learned, especially when children are placed under too much stress to win.
In addition, children may not be physically ready for the demands of training and hard play. Repetitive motion injuries, muscle injuries and accidents can be detrimental to childrens developing bodies. According to Linda Rays article, Should Children Play Competitive Sports the key to successful competitive play for children depends on a healthy balance of parental involvement, social and team pressure, physical conditioning and time. With these combinations and good coaches it is extremely beneficial for children to play competitive sports.