Parental Pressure On Children Playing Organized Sports

1045 words - 4 pages

These days, there is too much pressure on children who participate in organized sports because of the unnecessary parental involvement they experience. A growing concern amongst those involved in youth sports is that certain aspects of parental involvement become detrimental to the development and experiences of young athletes. Early emphasis on winning, making money, and the disruption of education can exceedingly affect ones desire to further participate in a sport later on in his/her life.

With more and more children participating in some sort of organized sport than ever before, there is a constant concern regarding the pressures kids are brought into to excel. Emotionally over-involved parents often think that it is their responsibility to persuade, push, or support the children's fantasies or sporting objectives, even if the kids themselves do not share the same aspirations as his/her parents. Part of growing up is learning what interests you the most. It's how one becomes familiar with who they really are and what they enjoy doing in life. Unfortunately, for many young children, his/her parents seem to take his/her own lives into their own hands. Most parents want their kids to grow up to be "superstars", make it big after the college scenario, and perhaps go on to play professionally or succeed in the Olympics. We all know that there are the few that make it professionally, and having your parent paint a picture for you as you're barely going into grade school is unethical. Yet for the unfortunate, these kids are helpless to the pressure that is put on them at such a young age. Take Todd Marinovich, for example. For the child's entire life he was exercised, fed, schooled, and drilled with his fathers' one goal in mind: stardom as a football quarterback. He went to USC as their star player headed for a glorious career, led the LA Raiders to victory, and continued onto the Cleveland Browns as their leading quarterback. Then, of course, the entire "project" collapsed. Drug addiction with its attendant legal and publicity problems arrived, and the NFL career blew up. The kid went through rehab and came back, but relapsed, and relapsed and relapsed again finally leaving sports all together. Tiger Woods, the Williams sisters, and Todd Marinovich are all examples of kids who were mainly edged on by his/her parent. Kids should not have to experience stress because of the pressure parents may put on them, nor should they need to believe that a loss is unacceptable. There's just no reason why sports should have any negative aspects at all. Especially when there are so many positive things that sports can do for a child if introduced and carried out in the right way, specifically at a young age.

Over time, these youngsters may be permanently emotionally exhausted causing some to turn to steroids in hope to gain an edge or perhaps give up on sports, and exercise, altogether. Intense training, of coaches from club or travel...

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