Why We Shouldn't Be Defining Our Kids Based On Their Athletic Ability
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Why We Shouldn't Be Defining Our Kids Based On Their Athletic Ability

Sports are important but we should not be defining our kids based on their athletic ability.

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Why We Shouldn't Be Defining Our Kids Based On Their Athletic Ability
marykate mclaughlin

I've played sports my entire life. At times, sports have given me the utmost confidence and have helped increase my self-esteem. I played almost every sport in the book growing up and am lucky enough to be a part of a division 3 college basketball team as well. Basically, I know how sports can build self-confidence, make friends, and provide a sense of responsibility. I think every child should play sports at some point while growing up. I have seen the amazing things that sports can do for kids but I have also seen the negative effects that they have had on kids as well. Like anything, sports can be destructive to children. Although sports have a great ability to build confidence in children, they can also take confidence away as well. In today's society, we are constantly pushing our children to excel in everything. Whether that be sports or academics, sometimes the pressure that we put on our children can be too much. I'm eternally grateful for the way I was raised and for parents that supported me in everything that I did but growing up, there was pressure to do well, especially in sports. There's an old saying that, "Pressure makes diamonds," which is true but it also comes at a cost. If we are pressing our kids incredibly hard to do well in sports, then we are belittling their self-worth. Playing competitive sports comes at an end for everyone at some point. Here lies the problem of defining kids based on their athletic ability. Because once an athlete's days of playing competitively have terminated, if we have been defining them based on their athletic ability for the course of their entire lives, then they will feel out of place and lost because they have lost the thing that once gave them their greatest feelings of confidence. Also, if someone goes from playing a lot and being praised for their athletic ability and then once they reach the next level and are not reaching similar success, they can start to resent themselves for not achieving what they thought they were capable of. And, they can start to doubt themselves and wonder if they have anything else to offer. Although there are many great coaches out there, there are a lot of bad ones too. Growing up, kids are taught to look up to their coaches and can be personally conflicted if the person that they once looked up to starts to take their confidence away. We should be building up our child's self-confidence in sports but also make sure that they gain confidence from things outside of sports as well. The world needs great athletes but it also needs great doctors, writers, scientists, marketers, etc. Being good at sports should never define someone as a person. Being good at sports is a talent, not a character trait.

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