I fully support Jessica Statsky’s stance in her article, “Children Need to Play, Not Compete.” I personally feel that children in today’s society are being emotionally damaged by high expectations of elders on the playing field. I can remember numerous times from when I was a child playing “pop warner” football in the south of being told to hit harder to hurt other players. At age ten I played for a coach that had specific plays intended to either injure the kicker of the opposing team or code words to play dirty on the line of scrimmage. These situations really took all of the fun out of the game and caused players to choose other extracurricular activities the following season. Even as a huge sports fanatic I agree with Statsky’s thoughts when she states, “Before children are psychologically ready for competition, maybe we should emphasize cooperation and individual performance in team sports rather ...view middle of the document...
” I fully support this statement and believe it to be very true. Many children are becoming discouraged and depressed because of adult expectations. What happened to the love of the game and being able to obtain a goal with teamwork and guidance?
As a child playing youth football in a part of Alabama where football seemed more important than education, I remember participating but hating every minute of it. The team was never good enough, always had to practice twice a day, and the coach was always coming up with new ways to cheat on the field. I was always told by the coach that the officials aren’t watching what is happening on the line so throw some punches to try and wind the other team before the next play. I even remember being told, “If someone’s hand comes in your face mask, bite it!” These are the actions taken by corrupt coaches that make children find excuses to not play or participate at all. Statsky writes about a reporter who watched a child tell his coach that his tummy hurt then forced himself to throw up just so he could ride the bench for a game and have one more day without fear because they found a way to escape the adult expectations. Obviously there is an issue with organized sports if children are going to such great lengths to sit on the bench.
My stance on youth organized sports is that the children should play if they want to but the parents and adults shouldn’t focus on winning but more on fundamentals of the sport, rules of play, and maybe even the history of the game. Children at a real young age shouldn’t compete and should be rewarded just for their mere participation whether they won or lost. These are the actions that would make the child want to play and be happy during game play. Leave the competition to the high school aged youths and let the grade school kids just have a good time while getting some exercise and learning some good life skills. In conclusion I strongly agree with Jessica Statsky’s article “Children Need to Play, Not Compete.”