In the high school years, most teens are very much into competitive sports. There's this strong mentality of "being the best" that sometimes runs wild. I know in my youth group days I was set on being the best at dodgeball. Is competitive sports healthy? They can be fun, and it pushes teens to become better at something. Elementary-age children can be a different story. Or is it? Competitive sports for the elementary age can be good, if regulated.
Competitive sports pushes the child to become better at something. If he or she is in little league, more often than not boundaries will want to be expanded so he or she can become faster and better at the game. This can have negative effects which must be put into consideration. We do not want to see a child become obsessed with winning and being the best. But competitive play can be good in small quantities. In other words, competitive play should be a side thing for children, not a big part of their life.
Being a leader at the AWANA program at my church, I've seen countless competitive games played among the young. After a day of school, it's easy to notice that young children do genuinely enjoy competitive play. It's a kind of reward after a day of work. I've seen on their faces how much they enjoy game time at the program, which is a testament that competitive play among this age group is good.
Parents should be careful not to force competitive play and being the best on their children of course. This can lead a child to thinking he or she is inferior to others that are better at some sports. Sports should be about having fun first and foremost, adding the competitive part just makes it more centered because it gives the child a goal. This can also relate to doing well in school. If a child works hard to become better at a sport, a parent can use that to show him or her that working hard to get good grades also leads to a great goal.
Competitive sports is definitely a good thing for the elementary age. It gives children a set goal when playing, and has them train themselves to become better. It shows them that if they work hard, a goal can be reached. Of course, being the best shouldn't be a focus either. When a child loses at a game, parents should be quick to remind them that they won't always win. They should tell him or her to keep training not to become the best, but to better himself or herself. Competitive sports is also a fun way to end a day of school!
These 30 minute essays are short writings for practice for my College Composition exam, I call them '30 minute essays' because I have a time limit of 30 minutes to write a response to the topic question.