Effects Of Youth Involvement In Organized Sports

2709 words - 11 pages

By now almost everyone has heard about child obesity in America, but just how high are the rates? The answer might surprise you. According to Nate Whitman, a writer for The Huffington Post, “rates of obesity have doubled in 2- to 5-year-olds, quadrupled in 6- to 11-year-olds, and tripled in 12- to 19-year-olds” (par. 2). This is due to more children staying inside and only doing activities such as video games. They do not interact with anyone besides whomever they are talking to online. These findings are astonishing to say the least. What can we do to combat this? Involvement in organized sports helps children develop their social skills, improve their academic progress, and stay active.
One of the positives of youth participation in sports is that it is an effective way of children making new friends and developing social skills. Sports teams provide an introduction for children to talk to other children with whom they may not talk normally. This is a huge opportunity for overweight children that might not socialize with others very often. As Ann Rosewater – a spokeswoman for the organization Up2Us – puts it, “overweight children have reported that the best part of organized sports is making new friends” (13). Teamwork can create a strong bond between athletes who compete together. Working toward a common goal gives children a reason to become good friends in an attempt to reach their endeavor of winning. They learn to help other children when they see them having a tough time and learn to offer words of encouragement to them (Harle par. 3). Children are given a sense of camaraderie by playing a sport with peers and that sense can become so strong that they will go as far as considering each other a second family. Teamwork also builds values in children such as dedication, commitment, and hard work. All of those skills become vital to success later in life, like when applying for a job or obtaining an education in a university or technical school. Children also learn to communicate more efficiently with others. Communication is important not only in sports, but also in all other aspects of life. Almost every career involves communicating with others to some degree, so it is an extremely valuable skill to acquire early on in life.
Children also develop their social skills by learning how to become a good sport. It is important for youth to learn how to lose gracefully. If a child gets angry or throws a tantrum after experiencing a loss, it means that child has not yet learned how to cope with defeat. Loss is something that everyone will deal with at some point in their life, whether it be losing a game or losing a job. Sports teach this point extremely well. More often than not, sports teams do not go undefeated, so having a child play sports can expose them to dealing with losses. When a child's sports team loses, they often grow closer with teammates in an attempt to strengthen the team and rebound from the loss to...

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