Youth Sports Intensity Essay

2312 words - 10 pages

Adolescence is a time of scraped knees, bumped heads, or worse case scenario, a dislocated shoulder. When children are young they are bound to get hurt, but those injuries should be minor, not major like a concussion. According to the Stop Sports Injuries Organization, "injuries associated with participation in sports and recreational activities account for 21 percent of traumatic brain injuries among children in the United States" (Youth Sports Injuries Statistics). Youth who become physically damaged from playing aggressive sports can experience injuries such as bruising, scratches, sprained ankles, and concussions. Youth can also experience emotional distress from playing highly competitive sports. Emotional damage refers to "verbal attacks on a child's self-esteem by a person in position of power , authority, or trust such as a parent or a coach" (De Lench). Because of the potentially damaging effects of youth sports, it is obvious that they are too intense and must be changed. Competitive youth sports are physically dangerous, emotionally damaging, and the rules about how they are monitored should be changed.
Youth have not always been involved in organized sports in the United States. Organized Youth sports first arose after the United States made school a requirement for all young people in the 19th century (Friedman). By the 1917, school was a part of most young people's lives. "With the institution of mandatory schooling, children children experienced a profound shift in the structure of their time. Compulsory education brought leisure time into focus; since "school time" was delineated as obligatory, "free time" could now be identified as well" (Friedman). Since young people now had "free time," they also needed ways to fill that free time. To answer the question you might have as to what to do, "lay partly in competitive sports leagues, which started to evolve to hold the interest of children. The other influence at the time came from "experts" of child-raising, who argued that poor immigrant boys could not be trusted to play in parks without adult supervision, so organized sports were created to fill their time (Friedman).
Another reason that organized sports were highly valued at the time was because "sports were seen as important in teaching the 'American' values of cooperation, hard work, and respect for authority" (Friedman). After WWI, America had a strong national pride, and raising its youth to believe in American values was a high priority. However during the depression three things happened that began to change youth organized sports forever. One, "many clubs with competitive leagues suffered financially and had to close, so poorer children from urban areas began to lose opportunities for competitive athletic contests organized by adults" (Friedman). Two, "athletic organizations were founded that would soon formally institute national competitive tournaments for young kids, for a price. For example, national pay-to-play...

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