Our society, in terms of world sports, has grown increasingly impressive. Most professional athletes have been playing their specialized sport since grade school, and although impressive, the people we are rooting for are wearing out quickly. Although youth sports programs are a health benefit to society, they also pose disadvantages to a young person’s growth and development.
There is a vast difference between the two words, specialization and professionalism. “Specialization leads to the playing of the sport year round. That means not only an increase in risk factor for traumatic injuries but a sky-high increase in overuse injuries”(Briggs). This means that young children are picking a sport they love to play, and playing it year round for the rest of their life or until they burnout, which is occurring more and more frequently and at a younger and younger age. Children should not have to choose between two or more sports they play just so they can become good at only one. “Professionalism is taking these kids at a young age and trying to work them as if they are pro-athletes, in terms of year round activity”(Briggs). In terms of year round activity, yes, most children, with exceptional talent, are treated with professionalistic views. The children play all seasons available, and when their sport isn’t available any more, they train as best they can indoors and await the upcoming season. This type of treatment can get the children into bad habits later in life because life, after sports, slows down and most people who have always been rushed through things and always encouraged to keep going, don’t keep going. They stop and find themselves in, sometimes, a major amount of trouble because they can’t keep themselves busy.
Children’s sports didn’t always used to be this way, in fact as Hilary Friedman describes in her article,
About a hundred years ago, it would have been lower class children competing under non-parental supervision, while their upper-class counter parts participated in non-competitive activities like dancing lessons and music lessons… Children’s tournaments, especially athletic ones, came first to poor children -often immigrants- living in big cities.
This only furthers the fact that children’s sports need to be modified and revised to fit the new growing generation. A generation who won’t be paid to play sports and receive trophies, but a generation that will be using logic and their brain to solve more pertinent problems like our world’s diminishing natural resources, instead of which play to run at the high school football game. Although important, high school football won’t continue past high...