The Effects of Competition in Sports On Children Ages Nine Through Twelve

Essay by hgriersonUniversity, Bachelor'sA, March 2010

download word file, 13 pages 0.0

Over the years, the growth and changes in children's sports have reflected the popularity of professional sports in our society. Sports games and sports news are available to the public twenty-four hours a day on television and the Internet even the radio. Due in part to this, schools and other organizations have changed American athletics from more of a fun playtime to intense competition. The effect of competition in youth sports on children has been the subject of much criticism and praise by physicians, psychologists and parents for years. Many people feel competition can be very beneficial and are strong supporters of competition amongst young children. These people claim that competitive sports aid in the development of social skills, problem solving skills, health fitness and psychological well-being. Many feel that a child's character and morals can be greatly improved through competitive sports. On the other hand, competition can have potentially devastating effects on our nation's youth.

There is, of course, the very real possibility of harmful physical injuries. Children are often humiliated and ashamed upon losing, which can be damaging to their self-esteem. Another problem with competition in young children, particularly nine to twelve year olds, is the parental pressure that so often accompanies it. Plenty of children have been pressured and forced by their parents to compete in sports at a young age, to the point where they burn out later in life. The positive and negative effects that competition can have on children ages nine through twelve has been a topic debated by experts for years.

Competition can be defined in many different ways for different situations. In the context of youth sports, competition is defined as a social process occurring when one's actions are performed for the purpose of achieving a goal or meeting set standards...