In this highly competitive world, where many people do not even know how to escape the traps of the rat race, a happy and responsibility-free childhood is more important than ever. As for sports, children should play and not compete, as Jessica Statsky emphasizes in her university essay about the heavy competition in community sports for children. It is said that adult sports are no longer fun and that they are also very expensive entertainment. The stress of competition in children’s sports can positively ruin the fun, and on really competitive teams, not everybody gets to play. Children’s sports should be for other purposes: learning teamwork and cooperation, physical fitness, and just plain fun. Ms. Statsky covers this topic rather well and makes a strong argument for putting the fun back into kids’ sports.
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This article was written by a university student. Jessica Statsky brings up several important points in her essay against highly competitive sports for children. Her intended audience is her instructors, parents, and administrators, especially those with kids. She covers the emotional damage to those who feel pressured and those who get hurt. She also mentions the damage which can be done by pushing young bodies too hard in specialized movements, such as throwing curveballs in baseball. She deplores that many children do not want to participate, because they are pressured, and others want to participate, but they are not good enough.
Ms. Statsky did enough research to get quotes from doctors, coaches, and other academic writers to support her ideas. She even managed some very interesting anecdotal evidence showing that kids feel stressed. Finally, she cites some interesting programs which are trying to eliminate rabid competition and she mentions one instance where parents prevented positive change.
Ms. Statsky is clearly of the opinion that parents are the major push for too competitive sports, and she may be right, but her evidence, while interesting, is not scientifically gathered and quantified. MS. Statsky also did not emphasize was that she was pretty much talking only about community sports, and not school sports. However, there are problems with school sports too.
The overreacting parents that she mentions, who often behave badly at games and push their kids too hard, are just as evident at school sports, and their Olympic or professional stardom dreams are no less damaging. In a way, the big money in sports which has made it too expensive for many middle-class families to attend games is at least partly responsible. Star athletes become millionaires, competitive youth sports become more like brawls and testosterone contests among parents, only to support a public sports program that is no longer middle class and certainly no longer fun for lots of people.
Another point Ms. Statsky failed to mention was the poor physical fitness among our school kids. They do not get enough exercise and they eat poorly, so we have a lot more fat kids than ever before and this is becoming epidemic in North America and maybe around the world. Sports used to be a primary activity for kids, but with so much competition many are left out. Though the essay was well organized, I think I would like to see more points mentioned in the introductory paragraph and summarized in the conclusion.
Overall, this was a well-written and well-organized essay. Ms. Statsky used interesting examples to focus her points and very good researched support for her arguments. The organization made the paper flow well and it maintained interest with bright creative language which was still standard English and easily understood. However, Ms. Statsky placed most of the blame on “stage door” parents and did not cover the other influences, such as commercialization of sports overall, marketing, school competitions, and the media. This problem is not all the fault of parents and eager coaches, and the solution is not there either. Evidence from psychological journals might have made this an even stronger paper. However, she made her points well and put forth a very convincing argument.
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