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Children need to play, not compete

Children need to play, not compete

Posted on Oct 2017

Play is very significant for the optimum development of children who are in their middle childhood. In the essay “Children Need time to Play not Compete” by Jessica Statsky, she genuinely expresses the concerns that relate to the potential risks associated with children’s involvement in competitive sports.  According to Pryk (34), for an activity to be regarded as play, it ought to be both voluntary as well as self-organized. This essay will present an argument that children should not participate in organized and competitive sports.

Children should not take part in competitive sports such as rugby or baseball owing to the potential injuries that they may cause to a child. The nature of such games requires a lot of physicality and use of force or ruthlessness, which might end up harming young children who are playing them. This is because children between the ages 6 and 12 are still physically undergoing development, and they have very tender bodies. As a result, through the exposure of their bodies to competitive sports that require physicality, it may result into injuries that are fatal as compared to adults who are playing the same sport. Additionally, making selection or the screening young children for the purpose of identifying talent among them is wrong as Jessica Statsky rightly puts it. Possibly, the right course of action to take is to teach these children how to play as well as nurture their talents and abilities prior to their subjection to competitive sports. This ought to come during later years of the children’s life when it becomes apparent which children possess an outright talent in order to start playing competitive sports. Nonetheless, young children who may have talents in sports might get discouraged from participating in competitive professional sports in the future. The pressure that children between 6 and 12 years are exposed to when a parent or the coach blames them for display of poor performance discourages the children from future participation, and makes them to doubt their development towards becoming great sportsmen and women.

Amongst the dangers of sports that are highly competitive is that they result into children having bad physical action for their developing bodies. For instance, if a 6-year-old attempts to throw a curve ball, this may put abnormal strain on their developing arm as well as shoulder muscles. This interferes with the manner in which their body is growing. In addition, competitive sports that require strong attacks such as tackle football deny children of their enjoyment when it comes to such sports. This is because they are afraid of playing these games because of the nervousness of being hurt. As a result, it is very scary for children to participate in such games. Another reason as to why children should not take part in competitive sports is due to the psychological dangers that they present. Children who usually play organized sports cannot enjoy the respective sports. This is as a result of the children being under the pressure of both their overzealous coaches and parents that they have to win. These children end up fearing failure as well as disapproval by these persons who are very significant in their lives while growing up. In such a case, some of the players who are physically talented might stay away since they cannot establish self-esteem.

In addition, Jessica Statsky is not only concerned by children taking part in competitive sports but as well about the attitudes of both parents and coaches. Parents and coaches have a tendency of placing a higher value towards winning and they fail to consider that participating in sports at such a tender age for educational purpose. They end up screaming at the children along with threatening opponent teams in unacceptable manners. It is imperative that both parents and coaches should be educated on the best practices of supporting children in order to make sure that these children enjoy sports. Amongst the dangers of sports that are highly competitive is that they result into children having bad physical action for their developing bodies. For instance, if a 6-year-old attempts to throw a curve ball, this may put abnormal strain on their developing arm as well as shoulder muscles. This interferes with the manner in which their body is growing. In addition, competitive sports that require strong attacks such as tackle football deny children of their enjoyment when it comes to such sports. This is because they are afraid of playing these games because of the nervousness of being hurt. As a result, it is very scary for children to participate in such games.

In conclusion, there are very few children between the ages 6 to 12 years who are capable of enjoying competitive sports. Instead of taking part in organized sports which are competitive, children have the right to play self-organized sports that suit their needs, as well as abilities at their tender age. Organized competitive sports that are played by children to the standards of the adults are not appropriate for young children particularly those between ages 6 and 12 years. This is because such sports have contrary consequences for the growing children and might result into mental or physical harm.