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Should Children Be In Competive Sports At

A Young Age? Essay, Research Paper

Many American parents struggle to answer

the puzzling question of what the appropriate age children should start

to participate in competitive sports. A subject like this is puzzling because

there are many issues that must be addressed, because it is controversial.

Some American parents push their children

too far, too young. The average American child usually will start to participate

actively in competitive sports between the ages of six and twelve and can

be unhealthy to a child’s development (CWG 131). The question at what age

a child should start, has a different answer for each individual child.

Parents often fail to realize that their child may not be physically ready

for competitive sports, even though the child is ready. I believe that

a child should participate in sports only if he is wanting too participate

and is not pushed by their parents. Every parent has a different way of

looking at, if their child is ready to start. If a six year little boy

wanted to start playing football, the child may not be fully capable of

handling such strength and tension that might cause a life long injury

(Koppett 294). Some parents may think he is ready, but is probably not.

Determining whether or not a child is ready for competitive sports can

sometimes be difficult to answer, because to determine if they are ready

a child must be mentally ready also. Sports not only take physical strength,

but a child must have psychological capacity to get them through such strenuous

activity. A child may sometimes become scared when participating in sports.

For example, A mother of an eight-year-old Peewee Football player explained,

“The kids get so scared. They get hit once and they don’t want anything

to do with football anymore. They’ll sit on the bench and pretend their

leg hurts…”(qtd. In Tosched A32). This quote is a true statement because

if a six-year-old child is playing peewee football with an eight-year-old,

the eight-year old is a lot bigger that the six year old is and he could

cause physical hurt to the six-year-olds tiny body. The psychological part

of the story would be that the child would be so scared that he might get

hurt which causes physical hurt as well as mental hurt and may scar the

child for the rest of their life, when that child could of been the next

pro-football player of the next century.

A child should not be competitive at an

early age, they should be having fun and playing the sport in wanting to

and not being pushed to do so. When I was younger, I participated on the

swim team so I was introduced to Compton at the age of six. My parents

never pushed me to do well, they always made sure that I was having fun

and that it did not matter if I win or lose. I think every parent should

understand, if their child is going to start competing at a young age,

that the child is having fun and not getting criticized for their mistakes

when they lose.

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