Topic: The Benefits of Athletics for Children Outweigh the Disadvantages

March 9, 2012
In today’s society, children are becoming less and less active with television and internet becoming more and more popular. In fact, my own brother would rather spend his afternoons playing a video game than hang out and play catch with his friends. His excuse “I’m too lazy” or “I’m too tired”. Though he had school and could be rather tired, he did not perform a sufficient amount of exercise needed for a healthy development which could lead to bad habits. Sports are a great way for children to become active and exercise which help promote healthy lifestyles in children at a young age. Children are able to develop morally and socially through sports and participation in sports improves self-esteem. It also teaches children about fair play and the difference between right and wrong. In this day and age, children need as many benefits that they can get through sports or even by just being active.

Proper exercise is needed for a healthy development. Without it, obesity and lowered health are most likely to occur. Exercise has been proven to boost energy and combat health conditions and diseases. Active play which can be obtained through sports can be fit into an after-school schedule. Many children go to school, come home and usually do homework, then sit around and watch television for the rest of their afternoon. With sports as part of their schedule, kids are able to fit in at least some amount of exercise instead of just sitting around eating and watching television or playing video games. Why play sports? Can’t a child perform exercise on his or her own? A child can perform these activities by his or herself, but without any supervision or any proper knowledge in safety which can be found in a coach, the chances of injury are heightened. Sports such as football, soccer, baseball, volleyball, and gymnastics offer great exercise for children from the age of three to adulthood. These sports offer running, throwing, muscle toning, and many more. Participation in sports also helps to promote healthy habits like working out and eating healthy. In a student publication in the University of California at San Francisco Medical School, Ellen Kuwana wrote “As a result of my involvement in gymnastics, I tried to eat healthy food, work out regularly... I was a healthier person because I was a gymnast.” Exercise and healthy lifestyle choices are just two of the many benefits offered through sports.

Children at a young age do not know the difference between right and wrong. Involvement in sports activities can assist children in moral development. A way that moral development is instituted through athletics is through fair play. One of the best ways that fair play can be taught to a child is through teaching the rules of the game and by abiding by the rules during competition. Children learn from both parents and coaches the rules of the game and how to handle disappointments and losing and modeling respect when watching others. Team sports also teach youths self-discipline and leadership. In an article in Awake!, a father noted that football keeps his son from doing bad things, while teammates, opponents, and officials while also teaching them howit also teaches him discipline. Sports help children to learn about respecting one’s to cooperate with them. By learning the limits to which a child can go and still maintain the “game” is one way children learn how to interact successfully with other children which will help them socially and morally.

Self-esteem is developed through evaluating our abilities and by evaluating the responses of others to us. Children constantly look for approval through parents’ and coaches’ responses to their performance. A major part of the development of self-esteem in sports is the pride and joy that kids experience when their physical skills improve. Though this doesn’t happen overnight, the old saying goes ‘Practice makes Perfect’. Participation in sports builds confidence, helps you to get in shape, maintain a healthy weight, and make new friends all of which help contribute to a healthy self-esteem.

Some parents are concerned that kids who participate in sports don’t focus on academics because of sports take too much of their time. However, research has shown that children who participate in sports do better in academics and are more likely to graduate as opposed to those who don’t. Participation in sports improves learning, concentration, and memory which provides a child an advantage when it comes to the classroom.

Participation is sports in an early age offer many benefits which through good practice and proper utilization will carry through to adulthood. Exercise, moral development, and self-esteem are just some of the benefits offered. Other benefits include making new friends, having fun, and social acceptance by others. All in all, sports offer many benefits which outweigh the disadvantages so don’t be afraid to let a child try out a sport, the benefits which he or she will receive will help the child in numerous ways.

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