Sports Competition And Children

This article will help you make a decision with your child to determine if he or she is ready to begin or what type of sports that are suited for.

Children have been running, throwing, climbing and swimming throughout time, there are many benefits to a child from physical activity. Children learn new skills and how to control these skills. The exercise that is a part of athletics is important for physical conditioning. Children and adults who are in good physical condition generally feel good about themselves.

Learning how to play a sport is a learning exercise that is as useful to a child's development as other learning experiences are. There are beneficial social aspects as well. The competition that children impose on themselves is also potentially beneficial. Athletics for all children of all abilities should be encouraged. Unfortunately there are many aspects of athletics that are sorely in need of improvement.

Most of the sports glorified are of great importance to children such as football, baseball, basketball, hockey and other sports that require a number of players. These are great sports, but limit the opportunity for adults to participate. Sports such as running, skating, biking, rowing and tennis can be enjoyed on a lifelong basis, due to they can be accomplished by a single person or a smaller group of people. These sports also emphasize long-range benefits. Parents want healthy children and the goal is to produce healthy adults.

Many of the glorified sports are violet and can be hazardous to a child's health. Sports that should be emphasized are sports that involve speed, skill, and coordination instead of sports that emphasize violence.

Competitive sports for adults should be clearly separated from competitive sports for children. The rules that are in place for professional athletes should not be placed in children's sports. Children have a difficult time dealing with failure. When children see their parent's love as being dependent on their winning a game, then a dangerous situation exists. There are organizations in sports that do not keep score for children under eight years old, which has been very helpful for the children that participate.

Children need to develop in many areas. A full day of practice for an adult making a conscious decision is a different situation than twelve-year-olds practicing for the same amount of time because of pressure from school or parent or coach.



School athletic programs spend large amounts of money on inter-scholastic football, basketball, and baseball. The most money is spent of the best athletes, that is, on the children who need it least. Physical education, as all education, should recognize the principle of equity.

Remember the competitive drive to be number one should not be the underlying basis for a child's participation in sports. Your child must make the decision about the extent of his or her participation and you should be supportive of your child's decision.

If your child decides that he or she wants to participate in sports, you should ask yourself some very important questions. The first question should be, does your child have the coordination for the sport that he or she is seeking. Sports such as baseball and tennis require substantial hand-and -eye coordination and are more suitable for older children. You must decide is your child the proper size for the sport. There have been several five foot six inch college all American basketball players, but no one hundred pound college football tackles. Remember children mature at different rates and ages. Children who enter puberty later could be seriously injured if matched with someone twice their size.

Another important question that should be asked is the child playing at the appropriate skill level? Most organized sports group children by age. However, while older players may be excluded from younger teams, younger players of often permitted on older teams. Even a child that is very athletic may find difficulties against older and stronger children.

You must make sure your child is in proper condition for the sport. Size is not completely everything. A child wishing to join a team in mid-year may have the size and coordination but not the stamina to play successfully. The most important of all questions is does the child have any medical conditions that might be limiting. Many schools have rules that prohibit children with certain problems from playing contact sports. These children can often participate in non-contact sports. There are conditions such as brain concussion, head injuries, Glaucoma, severe heart defects and bone infections that will disallow a child from permanently playing contact sports. There are conditions such as Hepatitis, a healing fracture, pregnancy, and active infections that may be a temporary setback for your child participating in contact sports. There are some conditions that may disqualify certain students from some sports and for which individual decisions are appropriate which are physical immaturity, diabetes, hearing loss, asthma, and high blood pressure as well as seizure disorders. Children with HIV infection can participate in all sports but are discouraged from wrestling because of the likelihood of bleeding and potential transmission of the virus.

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