Children Need to Play, Not Compete
Everyone wants to win. But should that be a child’s top priority? Children’s sports should be more focused on cooperation and pure fun. The physical and psychological negatives are not worth the feeling of winning a game or making a team. Competitive sports have too many negatives that outweigh the positives and should be either removed or restructured. After children are fully prepared and mentally and psychologically developed, by age twelve or so, children can move on to playing to win. “Children Need to Play, Not Compete” by Jessica Statsky is an explanation as to why children sports need to be less competitive.
The stress of winning seems to be getting worse and worse as time goes on. Children are losing the love for sports because the fun is slowly but surely being taken away. Statsky states that, “even when children are not injured, fear of being hurt detracts from their enjoyment of the sport. ” There are also psychological issues, which shouldn’t be a problem children have to deal with. Sports should be somewhat of an outlet, an escape for children to enjoy themselves apart from their everyday life, not an added stress.
As Statsky ads, “Winning and losing may be an inevitable part of adult life, but they should not be a part of childhood. ” Childhood is a time for making memories, participating in things that make children happy, and enjoying their time. Instead of stressing about winning, practicing, losing, making the team, and getting hurt, children should purely be having fun playing the sports that they love. Jessica Statsky presents a very reasonable and logical argument. It is hard to disagree with her viewpoint after reading the article.
All of her examples were relevant and accurate. Statsky ties together her opinion along with facts and statistics. She makes several references to various books and authors and even sources such as the Los Angeles Times. Jessica Statsky has information from a New York Little League official, which shows that from California to New York, this is an issue that is being dealt with all over the country. Statsky also has information from a professor of kinesiology, Dr. Glyn C. Roberts, at the institute of Child Behavior and Development at the University of Illinois.
Her arguments are very persuasive and well worded. Over all, Statsky has put together a very well-constructed article. “Children Need to Play, Not Compete” appeals to readers emotions. Children are a part of just about everyone’s lives. Everyone was a child once, and either has or knows someone who has children. No one wants to think about a child being hurt physically or emotionally. Although parents often get involved in the desire to win, it is more important that children have positive experiences and wait until they are mature enough to have winning become a priority.
Statsky refers to Martin Rablovsky, a former sports editor for the New York Times who said after the coaches whistle blows, “The spirit of play suddenly disappears, and sport become job like. ” Parents don’t want to see their children lose interest in a sport they love because of all the pressure. It is a fairly reasonable assumption to say that parents would rather their children have fun without the addition of winning, then to be stressed or harmed just to have that “win”.
Parents could still praise their children for performing well and see how much better they will develop and be prepared for competition later in life. There are many points in “Children Need to Play, Not Compete” that are easily agreeable. It is true that between the ages of six and twelve, children shouldn’t be involved in competitive sports. Statsky states, “One readily understandable danger of overly competitive sports is that truly entice children into physical actions that are bad for growing bodies. Children do so much growing in this time period. They don’t need negative physical and psychological impacts from sports at such an important stage in life. Children should be taught cooperation, sportsmanship, and individual performance to prepare them for competition when they are developed enough to handle it. Everyone wants to be able to look back on childhood and have good memories. Sports programs should reconsider and reconstruct to cater to children’s needs and abilities. No one wants to see the love of sports slowly disappear over time.
Children have their whole lives to compete. Childhood should be about pure innocent fun and making positive memories. Sports don’t need to completely change. It would help if the level of competition progressed as the children’s age and abilities progressed. That way they could be gradually becoming prepared for high school, college, or even professional sports in their future. If taking steps toward reconstructing children’s competitive sports is going to benefit children, then that is what needs to be done.