The importance of organized sports for kids

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The importance of organized sports for kids

Participation in organized sports during childhood and adolescence has important benefits for physical, psychological, and social health.

Sport based youth development programs outside of school promote a wide range of learning and life skill development.

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Involvement in youth athletics encourages youth to live a healthy and happy lifestyle, foregoing the common issues many youth face such as obesity and depression. However, sport involvement goes beyond health, other benefits allow them to form and strengthen affective relationships, teach youth to value self-improvement over winning, how to be competitive in a competitive society, and to work culturally with different peers and authorities.

It also offers opportunities for play and self -expression especially for those young people with few other opportunities. Sport also acts as a healthy alternative to harmful actions such as drug abuseand involvement in crime.

Beyond the individual, sport involvement cuts barriers that divide societies, making it a powerful tool to support conflict prevention both symbolically on the global level and practically within communities.

Such negative experiences may result in a young person's low self-esteem, involve them in negative relationships, encourage poor sportsmanship, permit aggression and violence, allow racism, perpetuate gender discrimination, or expose them to psychological, sexual and commercial exploitation and abuse.

Injuries have always been of concern in terms of sport but youth are much more susceptible to injury considering both their immature musculoskeletal system and increasingly high intensity training. According to the U. Centers for Disease Control, participation in organized sports is on the rise.

Nearly 30 million children and adolescents participate in youth sports just in the United States. The most common types of sports-related injuries among youth are sprains, muscle strains, bone or growth plate injuries, and overuse injuries.

Early sports specialization has long been typical among children and teenagers in gymnastics, swimming, diving and figure skating, especially if they have aspirations of being competitive at elite levels. Youth athletes that are considered less specialized have been found to exhibit more all around athleticism and other advantages that specialized athletes do not benefit.

Still, sport specializers tend to dramatically outweigh those who stayed multi sport athletes because of the standards people place on sports and how valuable a sports career can be. As youth athletes exhibit skills at higher levels than there peers at a young age, parents, coaches, and the athletes themselves tend to focus on that sport in order to take advantage of their natural skills.

Noting that specializing in a sport at a young age by no means guarantees success, it is most important understand that sport specialization in youth can lead to higher injury rates throughout ones sports career Mcguine et al.

Research has found that high school athletes that specialize in one sport are more likely to be injured than athletes that play multiple sports Mcguine et al. Further, students who were classified to play moderate amount of sports were found to have less injuries than those who specialized in only one McGuine et al.

Looking at sport specialization more in depth, researchers have suggested that athletes, coaches, and parents monitor the weekly, monthly, and yearly participation rates for youth athletes in a single sport Post et al.

Also, experts recommend that all athletes engage in a wide variety of athletic activities, including unstructured athletic activities such as playing outside, until at least the age of Sports-based youth development is a theory and practice model for programs to place the mental and physical health of a youth over their athletic success.

These programs are typically found in low-income and under-served neighborhoods, but any sports coach or sports program can apply SBYD principles. Inequalities in sport[ edit ] Social class[ edit ] Global South nations tend to have less access to organized sports because the politics of their countries do not have the resources to have leisure and entertainment influence their lives.

For these financial reasons, participation is not feasible for a majority of kids growing up in lower income families. In recent years, youth sports have become more expensive in the United States.

The financial burden of organized sports has grown, and children from low-income families are less likely to participate. Gender in youth sports Gender conditioning often starts at an early age where boys and girls are taught behave differently and participate in certain activities.

While there is no doubt that girls' sport participation has skyrocketed in recent decades, a gender inequality in youth sports still exists.

However, frequent participation by both boys and girls in team sports is declining. No matter the sport, the benefits of participating remain.

The importance of organized sports for kids

With this said, the gender gap in the global south is much larger than that of the global north based on significant power relations and religious beliefs, specifically within Muslim communities in countries like BosniaEgyptMoroccoIranIraqSyria and Turkey.

For many, religion is a way of life in which sporting and educational institutions are culturally constructed by cultural and religious dynamics, as well as political, social, and economic factors.

There are also several social and cultural barriers faced by youth living in the global south that impact sport participation.

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A few of these are religion, culture and language. There are typically two types of youth sport programs. One is sponsored by schools and the other is sponsored by city recreational departments and agencies. Generally school sponsored programs have qualified coaches and dedicated facilities for their sports but that is not always the case.

Requirements for coaches for school sponsored programs vary from state to state, but the standard for the head coach of a major sport is usually a teaching certificate, with some coaching experience and training.

Non-school youth sports programs operate in a different way and use volunteers as coaches. They have to find places to practice such as open gyms. Youths in these programs are assigned or drafted to different teams depending on the program.The Importance of Play in Promoting Healthy Child Development and Maintaining Strong Parent-Child Bonds.

Pediatrics. ; (1) Brooke de Lench is the Executive Director of MomsTEAM Institute, Founder and Publisher of, author of Home Team Advantage: The Critical Role of Mothers in Youth Sports (HarperCollins).

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Mar 11,  · Come Ready or Never Start The Value of Organized Team Sports for Youth I am a big believer that participating in organized athletics—especially team sports—can teach values and life lessons that youngsters can use in . Kids First is the country\'s largest children\'s sports facility: 2 1/2 acres and over two dozen programs and venues under one roof all created specifically for kids!

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Fred Engh has been involved in youth sports for over thirty years―as a coach, athletic director, and sports , he founded a program that evolved into The National Alliance For Youth Sports (NAYS), a nonprofit organization that works to provide safe sports for America’s youth.

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