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Are Youth Sports Too Intense?
The intensity of life often brings out a person’s most competitive side. As a society, people are fueled by this intensity and competitiveness in their workplace, education, as well as in health and diet. This is a widely accepted reality, but, if society is fueled by this intensity, then why is it frowned upon when sports coaches are intense and competitive? Over the past few years of sports history, one question has been called to the attention of many parents and coaches. Have sports become too intense? In order to answer, what does intensity mean? Intensity is the motivation and drive combined with the frequency of sports. Dating all the way back to the Mayans in 2500 BCE, people have been playing sports for fun and entertainment, and only more recently, have issues of intensity arisen (Cartwright). Now sports can be full-year endeavors with trainers and specialists. Thus, parents are taking their children out of sports because they believe sports are getting too intense and stressful for their children. However, intense sports are beneficial for children and teens because they can help teach valuable life lessons and prevent injuries.
One reason why intense sports are beneficial for children and teens is that the intensity helps them learn valuable life lessons and has mental benefits. In the article, “Developing Life Skills Through Sports” it states “Playing in a team helps children to develop many of the social skills they will need in life. It teaches them to cooperate, to be less selfish, and to listen to other children” (“Developing”). Thus, the intensity of sports is creating valuable social experiences and lessons for young children. This can lead to children being more outgoing and social later in life which is a very important skill. It teaches them to work together in a group and communicate toward a common goal. To add to this, the article, “Despite Problems with Sports, Kids Get Big Benefits from Playing”, states, “... male and female students who play sports in high school are less likely to smoke cigarettes or feel lonely” (Bowen 2). Therefore, the intensity of sports is helping teens get through rough and difficult times in a safe way. Sports give an outlet for teens preventing them from using substance abuse to cope. Sports are intense but that can help the athletes with mental illness such as depression and addiction. Finally, according to the article, “Despite Problems with Sports, Kids Get Big Benefits from Playing”, notes, “Exercise can help in school. A study that followed kids from kindergarten to fourth grade found that more physical activity is associated with better grades. In addition, teenagers who play sports in high school are more likely to go to college and get a degree than kids who do not play sports in high school” (Bowen 2). Hence, the intensity of sports not only has emotional and psychological benefits, it can also help school performance meaning children who play sports have a higher mental acuity. Sports help with time management, prioritizing, and goal setting. The intensity of sports can help athletes thrive in school when under pressure or with an intense teacher. Sports also give more college opportunities because they can lead to scholarships. To sum up, intense sports have mental benefits because they develop social skills, teens who play sports are less likely to smoke or feel lonely, and children who play sports are proven to be more successful in school.
Another reason intense sports benefit children and teens is that the intensity of sports can help prevent injuries and have significant physical benefits. Sometimes sports are too intense for children because of injuries, but it is the coach’s responsibility to ensure safety. To further prove this point, at the start of this year, I began umpiring baseball games at my local little league. In my second game umpiring, I noticed that the coaches in the game were too relaxed and not paying enough attention. By the end of the game, one player had gotten hurt twice because they lacked the skills required and did not know the rules of the game. Therefore, sports are not too intense but the lack of coaching is causing an injury issue. It is the coach's job to take care of and teach the athletes. The increased intensity in sports allows kids to get more repetition of skills and learn the rules of the game better leading them to be safer and more aware when they get on the field. In addition, the website, “Sports Engine” states “long-term, the nation’s biggest health concern remains obesity” (Gord). Therefore, sports and exercise are needed to help prevent obesity. Weight loss requires hard work and drive, this motivation comes from the intensity. Lastly, the article, “Despite Problems with Sports, Kids Get Big Benefits from Playing” states “...studies show that kids who play sports are much more likely to be physically active when they are older than kids who do not play sports”(Bowen 2). Thus, people who do play sports can continue a healthy lifestyle throughout their life as well as the mental and physical benefits of sports. When children and teens play sports they are more likely to be physically active as adults meaning a healthy and active lifestyle. The intensity of sports can drive the players to continue their active lifestyle. In short, intense sports have physical benefits and help prevent injury because it gives the athlete repetition of skills to be safer, it can help prevent obesity, and the athletes are more likely to be physically active when they are older.
In conclusion, intense sports benefit children and teens. While many people believe that the intensity of sports causes stress, the facts have proven that this is Fallacious. Not only is this spurious, it is the complete opposite because intense sports can have many mental and physical benefits such as teens feeling less lonely or teens not smoking. Overall, the intensity of sports, when done correctly, can have many benefits and advantages for children that can carry throughout life debunking the theory that intense sports cause stress. This means that parents need to look deeper into the intensity of sports and enroll their children in these activities. If obdurate parents don’t help their children by enrolling them in sports, this can overall have a negative effect on the future health of the world.
Bowen, Fred. "Despite Problems with Sports, Kids Get Big Benefits from Playing." Washington
Post, 28 Oct 2021. SIRS Issues Researcher,
Cartwright, Mark. “The Ball Game of Mesoamerica.” World History Encyclopedia,
worldhistory.org#Organization, 25 May 2022, worldhistory.org/article/604/the-ball-game-of-mesoamerica/.
“Developing Life Skills through Sports.” Healthdirect, Healthdirect Australia,
Gord, Nelson. “The Coach's Role in Preventing Injuries in Youth Sports.” SportsEngine, 18 May
Malm, Christer al. “Physical Activity and Sports-Real Health Benefits: A Review with Insight
into the Public Health of Sweden.” Sports (Basel, Switzerland) vol. 7,5 127. 23 May. 2019, doi:10.3390/sports7050127