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Many children and adolescents are involved in different sports activities with their friends, families, and peers. Young people prefer to be active to remain healthy, fit, and achieve particular goals. As a person’s character is formed during the puberty period, there is a hypothesis that various sports have a significant impact on the personal qualities of an individual in the future. This assumption was based on parents’ observations as some of them claimed that their children become aggressive when playing football or too purposive during a basketball game. Many psychologists are concerned with this question as it might explain some misbehaviors or deeds that active people do as they grow up. It is essential to mention that children and adolescents are sometimes obsessed with sports as they find it attractive and entertaining. Moreover, young people have a passion for such activities as they give youth a chance to cope with stress or other psychological issues. The following paper is intended to discuss and analyze various factors and hypotheses to identify whether youth sports change people’s character and attitudes towards life as they grow up or this theory is a hoax.
Qualities Developed by Sports
It is a well-known fact that people who play active games in school or college are likely to become successful in the future as they develop some qualities that help them cope with different challenges presented by life (Hall et al. 15). When children or adolescents set particular goals in a game, they become more active in other aspects of their lives as these people get used to be initiative and accomplish every tricky mission. “Sports, physical education and health, is a discipline which is a sub-system of national education which is prosecuted to appear as a key in the development of human resources, namely the man who has the ability, skills, and personality to suit the demands of development” (Bafirman 8). Diverse sports might be considered short life prototypes as they present the same difficulties and require players of both teams to overcome their fears to win. Many parents understand that active sports improve their children’s characters and make them ready to face awkward life situations. The main qualities that a person develops while playing such games as baseball, football, soccer, and basketball are the following:
- Practicing new skills to professionalism. To become good at something, one has to work hard on improving his or her skills in a particular activity (Harvey et al. 43). This factor is important for sportspeople as this is the only way for them to become better than their teammates or opponents.
- Elaborating and eliminating one’s mistakes. Some people are afraid to admit their failures in life, whereas children involved in sports are obliged to address their blemishes. Otherwise, it is impossible to become a champion as other teams aim at their opponent’s weaknesses to win.
- Work in a team. Almost every kind of sport implies playing in a team. This experience is beneficial for children as they understand the advantages and disadvantages of their leadership activities. Moreover, team members start to analyze and understand their social roles basing on the achievements acquired in different positions. Also, every player develops an understanding of the general goals and objectives of one’s team. This quality might help a person in the future by showing good results in time and resource management.
- Competing for a trophy. As it is mentioned above, sports games have many things in common with real life. A trophy that is usually given to a winning team or its captain has many analogs in such parts of people’s lives as a career, family relationship, and friendship. To become successful in all of these spheres, one has to compete with other people. Sports games help children to be competitive and fight for their dreams and goals.
- Coping with varying difficulties. All game events are not identical as every team has its strategy. Therefore, a child always has to adapt to new requirements, standards, and conditions (Holt 38). This is a useful factor in people’s careers as it gives them the ability to find appropriate solutions to various problems and challenges.
- Scheduling and strategic skills. To become a winner and acquire a prize in sports, it is necessary to consider and build different strategies and outcomes caused by particular actions. Moreover, it is important to be organized and disciplined to follow all the objectives set previously.
These are the basic qualities that sportspeople are obliged to have and develop daily to strengthen their volition and the sense of self-confidence. However, there are many more positive traits that children develop while playing various sports games. In general, it would be proper to say that the majority of people who manage to reach their goals in sports can adapt to diverse tricky situations in life.
How Sports Influence a Person’s Character
Despite all the qualities listed above, a person who plays sports and improves one’s skills daily is likely to develop other habits useful for his or her future life. For instance, active children follow a healthy lifestyle even when they grow up as their bodies always have much energy. Also, children develop their worldviews and perceptions of different things that happen to them daily. As adolescents learn new things about life, relationships, and human physical factors, they form their charisma. This quality identifies an individual’s reaction to certain actions, misfortunes, and unexpected information. Children’s characters become stronger when they have to cope with their opponents’ bullying, angry teammates, and expressive coaches (Trottier and Robitaille 17). Another essential factor that has to be considered by people who are responsible for a child’s behavior and development is one’s environment. Children should feel comfortable with their teammates. Otherwise, a person might have psychological traumas that may hurt one’s character formation process. Therefore, the main problem of this paper is to determine whether it is advantageous for children to play sports or it might cause harm to their mental and physical health.
Despite all the benefits discussed above, many disadvantages in sports negatively influence children’s lives and characters. It is a well-known fact that a significant part of knowledge, skills, and experience acquired in one’s childhood forms such character factors of an individual as charisma, world perception, responsiveness to others’ needs, and ability to build relationships with different people. The following list will describe some implications of sports games’ adverse impact on children:
- Aggressiveness. When adolescents fight for a certain prize, they are likely to become angry at every person who stands in their way. Therefore, children become aggressive and almost unstoppable once they set a desirable goal. Unfortunately, some individuals use this trait in real life by offending and abusing people that do not let them do what is on their minds.
- Egoism. Although many sports imply working in a team, separate players strive to become better than everyone else. Therefore, they try to develop their skills, regardless of their teammates’ effort. Many famous sportspeople are selfish because of their physical development and statistics overweigh the common values of a team. This quality might influence one’s relationships with family or friends. Many individuals avoid having fellowship with people who do not agree to compromises due to their wishes.
- Pride. When an adolescent reaches particular goals and becomes respected by one’s teammates and other people, he or she gains popularity among the audience interested in a particular sport. It is essential to cope with others’ recognition and fame adequately because many celebrities might become arrogant after several successes (Nucci et al. 103). It is also necessary to avoid pride as this quality usually ruins relationships with a person’s relatives and friends.
- Impatience. Any child might reach new heights in sports within a short period. However, it is advantageous for one to work hard and train daily. Nevertheless, adolescents who win important games with their teams faster than they expect might lose their sense of patience. It is necessary to understand and have an appropriate feeling of time to evaluate the various goals and actions required to reach them. Due to the possibility of rapid career promotion in sports, some individuals have irritable tempers when it comes to other activities.
- Physical traumas and fractures. Although this factor does not seem to influence a person’s character at first, it is closely related to a player’s psychological and mental state. As sportspeople often deal with various traumas and other serious damages to their health and bodies, they might be afraid to face some failed challenges again. An individual’s mind associates previous mischievous, awkward, and threatening cases with possible unfortunate outcomes in the future. This factor tremendously influences a player’s world perception and character. Sometimes it might even lead to permanent depression.
Indeed, youth sports play a significant part in character formation. Nevertheless, as in every other sphere, this approach to a child’s treatment and development has its advantages and disadvantages. Therefore, every person should analyze his or her personal qualities separately to acquire only positive traits from this activity. The role of a coach and parents is also essential in every kind of sport as adults must not only motivate adolescents to reach new heights but help their students, sons, and daughters to take appropriate decisions and consider various outcomes of their commitments. Even if a child is on the right life path, one’s actions have to be coordinated by mature people as they have more experience in coping with difficulties that young individuals might face for the first time. However, Naylor and Yeager claim that physical activities do not have any impact on a person’s character formation as it only develops one’s reaction, playing skills, and other physical factors (212). There are many opinions as to the problem stated above. Therefore, it is necessary to organize and analyze more researches to acquire credible scientific data to resolve the discussed question.
Recommendations for Further Research
As the question of youth sports influence on a person’s character is undefined and its advantages are not compared to disadvantages yet, it would be proper to organize research to identify its role in children’s and adolescents’ lives. Indeed, there are many similar studies organized by professional scholars (Holt 54). Nevertheless, every generation has its features that must be reconsidered every twenty-five years. Therefore, to acquire accurate data, it is essential to gather a sampling of approximately twenty participants (aged from seven to eighteen years old). Young people will be given a task to divide into two basketball teams (ten players in each). They will be prepared for a game by professional coaches separately. After four months of intensive pieces of training, the teams should oppose each other in a final game. When the event is over, every member of the sampling will be given time to rest and relax. When children’s emotions are settled down, they will be asked to complete a questionnaire to explain how their characters changed after the study.
Youth sports play a significant role in such aspects of people’s lives as a career, family relationship, and friendship. Moreover, the majority of children who are involved in active team games have more chances to become successful than their peers as they develop qualities necessary to overcome various difficulties presented by life. However, there is another side of the coin as these adolescents might become aggressive, selfish, and supercilious. Scientists have many disputes as to the youth sports influence on an individual’s character. Therefore, it is essential to research on this topic to resolve the argument and arrive at an evidence-based conclusion.
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Hall, Chevelle, et al. “Building Leadership and Character Through Sports in Taiwan.” VAHPERD Journal, vol. 34, no. 1, 2013, p. 15.
Harvey, Stephen, et al. “Sport Education as a Pedagogical Application for Ethical Development in Physical Education and Youth Sport.” Sport, Education and Society, vol. 19, no. 1, 2014, pp. 41–62, Web.
Holt, Nicholas L. Positive Youth Development Through Sport. Routledge, Taylor & Francis Group, 2016.
Naylor, Adam H., and John M. Yeager. “A 21st-Century Framework for Character Formation in Sports.” Peabody Journal of Education, vol. 88, no. 2, 2013, pp. 212–224, Web.
Nucci, Larry P., et al. Handbook of Moral and Character Education. Routledge, 2014.
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