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Nearly every child at one point or another in its young and impressionable life has participated in athletics Beneath the purity of athletics and recreation however lies an overwhelming attitude such as the win-at-all cost coaches and overbearing parents that have turned this innocent recreational activity into a nightmarish hell for some young participants It has left many wondering if youth athletics is a helpful or a harmful stage in a childs lifeConventional wisdom tells us that the greatest reward obtained by sport participation is how it enhances ones growth physically A valid point yes but that cannot be the only reason In a recent survey conducted by Sean Slade in the March 1999 addition of The Journal of Physical Education Recreation and Dance 250 families who had children in grades three through five were asked a simple question why do you want your child playing sports as they grow up Amazingly the responses were three to one in favor of the mental rather than the physical benefits that sports have to offer Slade 1999 Parents stated that aside from building muscles and strength athletics gives children a chance to learn about sportsmanship teamwork persistence fair play self-esteem and above all enjoyment Children learn from early age that unless everyone participates and everyone succeeds the ultimate goal cannot be reached Children get a chance to emulate heroes like Jordan McGwire and Gretzky every time they step onto their respective of field of play Maureen Weiss PhD of the University of Oregon also agrees that sports do more than enhance motor-skills Said Weiss Physical activity and sports have tremendous potential to enhance childrens self-esteem and motivation Weisss research consistently proves that self-esteem and perceptions of physical ability can predict achievement behavior motivations and positive effects APA 1996 Ronald M Jeziorski an educational psychologist who consults curricular programs in Santa Clara California also sees the positive effect sports has on a childs psychological well being Jeziorski surveyed
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