Home > Special Concerns > Should Kids Do Competitive Sports?

Should Kids Do Competitive Sports?

By: Suzanne Elvidge BSc (hons), MSc - Updated: 5 Dec 2012 |
 
Sport Exercise Team Collaboration Win

There has been a lot of debate in schools about whether children should be involved in competitive sports, or should just play all-inclusive sports where the focus is on joining in rather than winning. While it is important to encourage and support children, and build up their self-esteem, children can learn a lot from competitive sports.

What Do Competitive Sports Teach Kids?

Joining clubs to learn and enjoy competitive team sports, such as football, rugby, netball, rounders or cricket, or competitive solo sports such as swimming, running or gymnastics, can be a great way to both keep fit and make new friends.

Competitive sports are often team games, and these teach children skills in collaboration and leadership, as well as improving their social and communication skills.

Children who are good at competitive sports can get the opportunity to travel and see new places and meet new people, or may get help at school or university through scholarships and sponsorships. They could even make sport, either playing or coaching, into a career. Even children who are not as good at competitive sports can skill gain a lot by learning new skills that could be useful in other parts of their lives, and just by having fun.

Taking Time Out

However successful a child is at competitive sports, it’s important not to put too much pressure on them to succeed, or to get them involved in too many different sports at the same time. Rather than practising, playing and travelling all the time, children must be allowed unstructured down time, where they can rest and relax, read, spend time with friends, or just do nothing if that’s what they want to do.

Competitive sports should not be allowed to affect a child’s education. Sport should also be fun – if there is a point that a child stops enjoying being involved in his or her sport, perhaps it’s time to stop, or at least pull back a little.

What About The Kids That Never Win?

Someone has to be last, and losing will always be a part of life, from being last in a race at school or not being picked for the team, to not getting the dream job or house. But… that’s not a lot of comfort when the person that’s last is you (or your child).

Losing constantly can affect a child’s self-esteem. To avoid this, children who tend to come last can be encouraged to try to do a bit better each time – throw the ball a little further or a little straighter, or run a second or two faster each time. It’s also important to remind children that not everyone is good at everything, and help them to find a sport (perhaps a non-competitive one like yoga) that they can enjoy, without putting too much pressure on them to succeed.

Too many children are put off sports by over-competitive games, and miss out on healthy exercise and chances to socialize and make new friends.

You might also like...
Share Your Story, Join the Discussion or Seek Advice..
Why not be the first to leave a comment for discussion, ask for advice or share your story...

If you'd like to ask a question one of our experts (workload permitting) or a helpful reader hopefully can help you... We also love comments and interesting stories

Title:
(never shown)
Firstname:
(never shown)
Surname:
(never shown)
Email:
(never shown)
Nickname:
(shown)
Comment:
Validate:
Enter word:
Topics
Latest Comments
  • Irene
    Re: Activities for 3-5 Year Olds
    I like the comments exercise is very important for young children
    8 October 2019
  • Cat
    Re: Compulsory PE in School
    My son is 8 yrs old and was in football club today. When I came to pick him up they were in shorts and t-shirt outside in heavy rain he…
    24 September 2019
  • Dave121
    Re: Compulsory PE in School
    I see some comments on here saying that PE is compulsory, however, the Education Act of 2002 prohibits the Secretary of State for…
    12 September 2019
  • PeIsBad
    Re: Compulsory PE in School
    I'm in Year 10 and P.E is made a living hell for me, the girls in the class shout at you and put you down swearing at you and telling you…
    10 September 2019
  • ASN teacher
    Re: Compulsory PE in School
    There is more to pe than simply sports. It is good for growing brain cells (for real). It is good for social skills (if delivered…
    25 August 2019
  • ellz
    Re: Compulsory PE in School
    My son went through he'll at school because of his bullying pe teacher my son has a pigeon chest and shortness of breath and is currently…
    6 August 2019
  • Joel
    Re: Compulsory PE in School
    I’m 12 and PE in my opinion is stupid. To me, it’s an entrance ticket for bullying. My school especially needs to understand not everyone…
    8 June 2019
  • fina
    Re: Active Games for Teens
    wow interesting thanks this is my essay!@!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!
    29 May 2019
  • Waleed
    Re: Compulsory PE in School
    Im in year 9 and we have 1 double lession a week and in those lessons we are forced to do exercise. The think I hate is the treadmills…
    23 April 2019
  • EndPE
    Re: Compulsory PE in School
    PE needs to not be compulsory for GCSE students, if the kids are unfit that's their problem but PE does not and will not help them,…
    26 March 2019