In “Children Need to Play, Not Compete”, Jessica Statsky proves that competitive sport activities are bad for physical and psychological development of children from six to twelve years old. She provides the conducted researches and statistical data that confirm her beliefs on the subject. The competitiveness has become an obsession of parents and coaches, who do not consider the impact of the game on health and emotional state of their children. The main task of children must be to develop and get pleasure from life. Jessica Statsky describes a fear of injury that children face when playing football for a team. After being injured once, a young player experiences a continuous stress. What is more, an accent on competitiveness leads to the fact that many good players are left behind, just because they were not chosen for a team. However, there are new programs, which propagate involving all kids in activities and developing their physical abilities. The author believes that parents and modern educational institutions must pay serious attention to making children fit and healthy, teaching them to cooperate, but not compete.
I mostly agree with Jessica Statsky’s opinion on the subject of competitiveness among young players. Nevertheless, some of my ideas are a little different from the author’s, so I would like to express them in a more detailed way.
I agree that taking part in competitive team activities is very stressful. It is stressful even for adults, let alone young children. A fear to lose or a fear to get injured does not let a person enjoy a game. I am convinced of it because I had a bright example in my own life. My cousin has always been keen on basketball. In his early age, he used to play with either his father or friends. After he was chosen to play for a school team, his interest to this kind of sport began to weaken every day. He was not very sociable and playing in the team was already a great effort for him. Taking part in various competitions made it only worse. Fortunately, his father was able to notice changes in a boy. My cousin finally left the basketball team and started playing with friends as before. He is now seventeen, he enjoys competitions and his team often wins. This example clearly underlines the necessity to take the player’s age into account.
Another disadvantage of playing competitive games is the unpreparedness of child’s body for a great strain and pressure of the game. The discussed games were created for adults, not for children. They contain physical actions that cannot be easily performed at the age of six. It is important to consider the peculiarities of a body development when choosing a sport for your child.
Other disadvantage of participating in competitive activities for children is their emotional disability to perform well. A temper of a six-year old child does not allow him to keep patience if he faces failure. Modern competitive games are complicated and children need to control their emotional state and plan their efforts to get victory.
I agree with the author’s idea that parents and coaches of children in this age should concentrate their efforts on learning to cooperate. Without an ability to work together with other students, the ability to compete can never be much developed.
There is a point where I do not fully agree with Jessica Statsky. She proves that parents should not propagate competitive sports. In my opinion, parents do not have to decide whether it is good or bad for their child. This choice must be made by a child himself/herself. A caring parent should let his child try to play competitive sports if he wants to; the most important thing is not to use pressure to make it go your own way. There are children who are physically and mentally developed enough to go in for team sports. The principle I propagate is to allow but not force.
In conclusion, I would like to state that my ideas on the subject are very close to those expressed by Jessica Statsky in “Children Need to Play, Not Compete”. I agree that competitiveness can be very stressful for young children and that they are often not ready for it physically and emotionally. Parents and coaches need to teach children to cooperate first and to compete later. It is important to let young players make their own choices without pressure from their side. In my opinion, a decision on whether to play competitive sports must be made in each individual case, taking into consideration every child’s wishes and abilities.