Involvement in sports is increasing. It is estimated that about one-fourth of girls and half of boys participate in sports, in the United States. A large drop-off in participation in middle class is seen, especially for girls. With increased specialization in sports, focus, training sessions, and competition are prolonged. This leads to increased exposure and overuse problems (Rinzel, 2008). Excessive emphasis on sports requiring reasonable hand-eye coordination, such as throwing, hitting and catching balls, leads to a “sport failure” attitude.
Many children are beginning competitive sports at an increasingly younger age, but high quality sports programs can provide a valuable context for development. Sports participation and natural play are beneficial to the health of children. With the increase in childhood obesity, play is necessary in children. Sports provide a valuable diversion from the TV-refrigerator complex. Playing sports as a child taught me a lot. I was a member of the FYI Kids Play program for soccer in 2002 and 2003. While there, I learnt a lot of things. Kids Play created a healthy environment for us to learn to play sports. The paramount thing about it was that there was no physical and verbal abuse, suspensions, confrontations, or politics. They taught young athletes aged 3-12 to honor the games by playing hard, fairly and as a team. I also participated in other games such as soccer, Seneca, baseball, swimming, hockey, and Tae Kwon Do.
I was given more options that allowed me to participate in various types of sports in which I could be successful. Identification of individual skills such as those involving hands and feet led to the most positive sports experience for me. Through sports, I was able to learn discipline, interpersonal skills, and various problem solving techniques. Participation was always fun, and provided me with several opportunities to be creative and to become proficient in sports that best fitted my native ability. Sports activities also prepared me for success in the competitive world.
Together with my colleagues, I learnt cooperation through playing games and learnt a lot on how to get along with others. This was because we had to work through problems so that we could get along and continue with relationships. We had to make decisions about how and what to play, and when playing, we had to agree on what behavior was acceptable. This way I worked on my cooperation skills, but we had the added benefit of having rules that helped guide our behavior and having adults who could make sure that our behavior was proper.
In addition, through involvement in sports program, I learnt teamwork and how to develop excellence. That is how I knew that I had to pay attention and cooperate and also do the best for the team. This is an essential skill that will help me throughout my life. In developing excellence, I always wanted to be extremely beneficial in the sports I chose. I wanted to be the best of all, and it was always courteous to learn to work towards goals.
In conclusion, I learnt a lot through sports as a child. The above teachings have been of significance to me as up to date, I am able to associate well with people in various occasions. For example, teamwork and interpersonal skills are often expected in all fields of study as well as even work places. Children spend a large amount of time in sport programs, and sport programs that have been designed to improve social skills have succeeded. Children often have needs and drives which need to be met. These include affiliation, success, aggression, exhibition, and physical fitness needs. All these can be met by participation in team sports. Parents, peers and other adults can have an effect on the social skill development of children.