Why Can't Sports Be Sports? This work has been published in the Teen Ink monthly print magazine.

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     These days nearly every child is involved in athletics in one way or another. Many love sports and are good at them but often parents force kids to play and then get too involved. It has become almost an epidemic. Children cannot just have fun anymore; now sports are about getting into a good college, getting a scholarship, and playing professionally. Sports should be an extra activity that children can enjoy with friends but youth athletics are far from “fun” when parents are over-involved.

Parents are not just coaching, they are putting so much pressure on their children that it is becoming dangerous. The number of child-abuse cases over athletics is rising because some parents do not understand that sports are not everything in life. This should not be a hidden issue - people need to start stepping in when parents get too involved.

Another issue is parents who yell at game officials and coaches during games. The players do not want to see this and other fans and coaches do not want it, either. Parents are embarrassing their children and this behavior does no good. Some officials have had to run to their cars, scared for their lives, because of angry parents. How is that fun?

I have been around sports since I was five and have been an umpire for a youth baseball league for a year. I have seen a lot of discouraging incidents involving parents swearing at officials, coaches, and even their own children. I have even seen parents and coaches banned.

Luckily, my parents are supportive of my play sports because I love to play. I umpire youth baseball because I love to be around the game.

What kind of an example are outrageous parents setting? Kids will learn how to behave from them. This epidemic will continue until somebody puts a stop to it. We should not just sit back and watch parents ruin their children’s childhood. I hope that the next time you witness one of these awful events, you step in and at the very least assure the children that this is not how you are supposed to act. Parents, set the example yourself. Start a new trend.

This work has been published in the Teen Ink monthly print magazine. This piece has been published in Teen Ink’s monthly print magazine.






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