Organized sports for children are an essential and an integral part of growing up. The benefits are seemingly endless, including self-confidence, discipline, leadership qualities, organizational skills, responsibility, and the importance of working as a team. In addition, it helps play a vital role in battling America’s current rising obesity epidemic. The Presidents Council on Physical Fitness and Sports states that children and teenagers need an hour or more of physical activity for maximum health. However, there can be drawbacks according to Jane E. Brody of The New York Times, “Overuse injuries, overtraining and burnout among child and adolescent athletes are a growing problem in the United States.” The emphasis on childhood sports organized by adults should be in balance according to their academic, social, and family lives. Anything in extremes, including sports can negatively impact a child’s life. A necessary part of ‘growing up’, includes balance and learning responsibility.
Self-confidence possess many long term benefits introduced to children through participation in organized sports, such as structured school sports teams. Self-confidence has influence on how well a child can do in school, how well they socialize, and how positively they view the world. It is an integral part of long-term happiness. Self-confidence is the root of all success. Without the internal confidence and drive, accomplishments are difficult and daunting. Findlay and Coplan conducted a study published in the Canadian Journal of Behavioral Science found that “Children who had participated in sport were also found to have higher physical ability self-esteem, physical appearance self-esteem, and peer self-esteem than did children who had not participated in organized sport.” When a child is more self-confident, they lack most anxiety problems and tend to be less stressful than other inactive students. Findlay and Coplan also found “It can be suggested that sport provides children with opportunities for mastery, which in turn leads to greater well-being. Alternatively, children who participate in sport may have a greater number of peer contacts or peer experiences.” Through schools, community centers, and after-school programs, adult organized sports are in abundance. It is an important and vital part of children’s lives to instill a program of athletics, while appropriately balanced with other aspects of childhood life to ensure a positive, well-rounded, productive member of society.