?The dark side of sport is not an automatic consequence of children?s sports. Rather it is primarily a result of adult involvement in children?s sport? The benefits of a student?s involvement in sports must be looked at on an individual basis only. There are several variables that can affect the nature of a students involvement and their experience in sports. Two of the adult groups that are included in the variables of these situations are: the parents of the participants and the coaches. This is because, ?Too often the desires, aspirations, frustrations and lost dreams of the adults get thrust upon the young athletes.? By changing the nature of either of these two groups the athletes experience will also be dramatically changed.
A student?s parents can make or break their child?s future in physical activity. Their influence can be either positive or negative. If a child is to participate in athletics or simply exercise they must receive their initial encouragement and inspiration from somewhere.
Right into adolescence it is parents who have a strong influence on whether or not their child plays sports. Children who see that their parents participated in sports when they were younger and have continued to be active and exercise also see that being active must be fun. Why else would their parents continue to exercise and be involved in sports? Seeing that exercise and sports are fun will encourage children to get involved. And, after all, that is what most of us wanted to do when we were kids: get involved and have some fun.
These parents who remain active know the importance of physical activity for physical, emotional and social reasons. These are the values and practices that will be passed on to children instead of the so-called importance of winning. By learning the...