Category Archives: Sports

Disadvantage of Children in Sports

For children, sports can have a very positive influence. It provides the necessary exercise while developing their social skills. Working as a team towards a common goal, they will learn about sportsmanship, cooperation, competition and goal-setting. These skills will enable them to become highly-functioning adults in the future. Some child athletes can even develop their skills to the fullest and make a living by playing a specific sport. However like with every activity, youth sports can have disadvantages. Oftentimes this can be largely attributed to the adults, but here are some things that you need to know if your child engages in sports as a hobby.

Sports Injuries

Being in a physically-demanding activity, children can easily suffer from sports-related activities. They can easily sustain muscle strains and sprains. For children, injuries are a big deal and will associate a negative emotion with sports or games in the future. This will lead them to avoid playing that sport or heighten their fear that if they play the sport for a long time they will be more susceptible to injuries. For children who play contact sports like soccer, they are more at risk of suffering from injuries and being traumatized. The risks for long-term injuries are also present in contact sports. If children are not properly trained or supervised, they could fracture bones and could affect how they perform daily tasks in the future.

Burnout

A “burnout” occurs when a person starts a hobby or task passionately, but slowly loses that enthusiasm until they reach the point when that hobby or task is considered troublesome and is stopped. For children playing sports, a burnout is very possible and very real. At first, children are interested in learning about a sport, developing their skills, and meeting other children their age. However when coaches or parents push them to go to practice or do drills when they don’t want to, children start seeing the sport as a chore rather than being fun. Instead of associating sports as fun or promoting camaraderie, children will instead build resentment for that activity and grow up loathing it.

Too Much Competition

A little competition is healthy for children, since this will motivate them and will also teach them values like cooperation, friendship, and sportsmanship. However when they are exposed to competition for a long time, the lines between sports and their personal life begins to blur. At first, they will think that their self-worth will depend on their successes if they win. During the moments when they fail at something either at school or in sports, they will feel very bad and lose confidence. This can affect their social lives as well as their development. They will blame their team mates if their team doesn’t win, and it also puts a lot of pressure on the child before sporting events.

Poor Grades

When sports practices become more important than their schoolwork, good grades will not be a priority and be eventually forgotten. For children who really love sports or for the athletes, they will simply study just enough for them to be able to get an average grade. Once they pass (just barely) their school subject, they focus all of their remaining time and energy on sports. It’s a good thing if schools support sports and extracurricular activities. However, sports should never be prioritized more than education for children.

Risky Behavior

For children who engage in sports at an early age, they have a lesser chance to develop risky behavior like smoking or drinking. They were taught at an early age to value their bodies and exercise regularly, so these habits will be easily ingrained into their daily life. Sure, they may be curious about smoking and drinking, but they have a higher chance to resist developing these unhealthy habits compared to other people who weren’t as involved in sports at an early age.

One problem that this poses however is that these children are more likely to develop other risky behaviors like fighting or binge drinking. Since they are made to believe that they are better than everyone else (competitively) and that their bodies are in good condition, they wouldn’t mind these riskier habits. Of course, not every child athlete is a binge drinker; however their chances of being one are high.

Negative Examples

Parents always want to support their children, and sports are no exception. Parents always take time to bring children to sports practice, and cheer them at their games. However when parents become too involved in the success of their children’s team, it can set a negative example to their children. Parents who are too affected by a game will start barking orders or corrections at children, coaches, and even the game officials. They can demand that their child be put back in the game, while taking another child out. This can lead to parents fighting with other parents. For children who witness all these even if it’s not their own parents, it will leave a negative impression on sports and they won’t want to play the game anymore.

Loss of Time

Children and young adults can generally juggle their time for family, school, friends, and extracurricular activities just fine. But since youth sports have evolved into a more complicated event, it takes a huge chunk out of the children’s time. Rigorous training programs that are for a whole year or school leagues that keep children playing sports for many months will make time management difficult or impossible. Children will have difficulty making time for their own hobbies or interests, or even spend time with their family and friends.

Financial Constraints

If children decide to invest their time and effort in a particular sport, this can mean additional expenses for the parents. Children need uniforms, sports-specific equipment, and sometimes a registration fee even. Every time children will enter a league or competition, they need uniforms for each league. Regarding equipment, some sports equipment can be expensive to buy, and depending on the children’s use, it can get worn out pretty quick. During games, families and friends might need to pay every time they want to see a game.

Pressure

The pressure in playing sports can be too much for some children to handle. They feel that they need to impress their parents and they should not let the team down as well. This leads to unhealthy behaviors for coping with pressure like anger, passing the blame, and inability to focus. In many situations, children place undue pressure on themselves and try to compare themselves with their team mates. Children should be taught that everyone is unique. If children need help regarding stress management and coping skills, then they should be brought to a professional immediately.

Getting children involved in sports are a good thing. There are lots of benefits to be reaped if children are exposed to sports at an early age. However, parents should also be aware and be prepared for the disadvantages in youth sports. These dangers are very real and should be properly addressed to ensure that children enjoy playing the sport and they are able to develop well.

What are Extreme Sports

Extreme sports are hard to generally define. What may be considered “extreme” for others might not be so “extreme” for another group of people and it causes friction or disagreements. Case in point, kayaking is thought by others to be a form of extreme sport – shooting down white water rapids, with the risk of death ever-present. On the other hand, kayaking can also be done in a calm, slow-moving river. Far from the fear of danger, this activity produces a feeling of tranquility and peace. This has lead to people considering the factor of place or venue.

Even with the establishment of the place or venue factor, this still hasn’t clearly defined what an extreme sport is or should be. Another event that challenges this factor is the destruction derby. In this event, cars pummel each other into heaps of junk with the last “functioning” car declared as winner. For participants and viewers, this event is clearly a form of extreme sport. However, one thing that this event lacks is the variability in venue. This sport is always done in a race track and it doesn’t change. This has lead to people questioning if an extreme sport is based on the adrenaline rush alone or if there are some other conditions that can define it.

Definition

One thing that seems to satisfy a lot of people is to not consider extreme sports as “sports”. They view it as extreme activities that are both adventurous and thrilling. Some activities might need athletic abilities, however in general, extreme sports need a very strong mental fortitude to be able to pull it off, let alone try it out. In short, an extreme sport is an activity that gives you an adrenaline rush because of the high risks involved.

History

Contrary to popular belief, extreme sports have been around for quite some time. Extreme sports for many years before pitted man against nature instead of man against man. One thing is certain; during these moments physical limits were pushed or broken. A concrete example for this is mountain climbing. It has been around for a long time, perhaps thousands of years. It was generally conceived as a method to explore and find new lands.

However once people conquered a mountain or used a certain route to discover a new place, they wanted to try it out or break another person’s time or route. Another example for this is hot air balloons. Although it looks tranquil and almost romantic flying leisurely in the sky, there are very high risks involved and if inexperienced, it could quickly lead to tragedy.

Through the Years

Extreme sports or adventure sports have changed a lot from what they were before. One thing that has greatly advanced extreme sports is through television. In particular, the X Games which started in 1995 brought to the public’s attention extreme sports like skateboarding, motocross, and freestyle snowboarding. In addition, educational TV networks have shown documentaries about people who frequently engage in extreme sports and how exciting it is for them.

During this time, extreme sports were still considered non-mainstream sports and wasn’t accepted by the general public. As time went on and due to marketing, some extreme sports like mountain biking, sky diving and whitewater rafting have become business ventures similar to mainstream sports. Browsing through outdoor sports shops, you can find many kinds of gears and guides about extreme sports that are directed towards the experienced and amateur adventurer.

Benefits

With all the risks involved, there are still some advantages in doing extreme sports and in managing it.

This has created a new kind of athlete dubbed as an “extreme sport athlete.” It has provided people who are fond of these activities with a new way of earning a living.

  • Like with other physical activities, extreme sports can help with a person’s health and physical conditioning. Extreme sports athletes exercise daily on a rigorous training regimen to ensure that they are in top shape before performing risky stunts.
  • During an extreme sport or activity, there is a notable increase in endorphins. This is commonly called as the “adrenaline rush.” This is also why many people are “addicted” to this sport.
  • Aside from the physical benefits, there are advantages that concern the person’s mental condition. After successfully completing one such activity, the person gains confidence on top of life experiences. A lot of people who do extreme sports claim that they have fewer regrets as they grow old.
  • Popular thrill seekers are considered celebrities across many cultures and countries. They are idolized by newcomers to the sport as they try to outdo each other and their inspirations as well.

 

Risks

One thing that stands out with extreme sports is the ever-present possibility of disability or death. However that’s just one risk factor, there are many other factors as well that you should seriously consider before trying out this sport or activity.

  • Illegalities are always common with extreme sports. Since these are dangerous, some states and places have banned these being performed in public places. This hasn’t stopped extreme sports athletes though, resulting in multiple run-ins with the law. Heavy fines and imprisonments are common in these cases.
  • Booking one activity can also be very costly, making it a luxury for the common person. For example, one sky diving trip ranges from $250-$350. For beginners, you also have to bring an expert or a guide with you, racking up additional costs. In addition, extreme sports require special equipment that can be costly and only be used in that specific sport. Even though some people forgo these special equipments, it increases their chances of having a fatal accident.
  • For enthusiasts in a certain extreme sport, practice and time is very important. It takes great discipline and long hours of practice to reach the top in these kinds of sports. Coupled with the physical demands and financial costs, this limits its availability to everyone out there.
  • When people are too overwhelmed with an adrenaline rush, they don’t realize the dangers that they are already in. Since they’re already in a position where a small mistake can cost them their life, they can easily make irrational decisions or haphazardly check the equipments before the activity. This has lead to a lot of accidents and deaths everywhere.
  • Recent scientific studies have also disproved the “adrenaline rush” factor. Scientists have claimed that you don’t need to expose yourself in risky situations to get this kind of rush. In reality, this feeling of euphoria is from a mixture of other hormones that are released due to high physical demands.

The factors presented above paint a very good description as to what are extreme sports. They are dangerous activities that demand great physical and mental willpower from the individual. Although one of the greatest benefits is the release of stress, it’s still best not to get addicted to it and become and “adrenaline junkie”. The risks are still real and you could pay a costly price: your life.

Reasons Why Sports Athletes Are Underpaid

Sport can be a uniting factor on a national level. We’ve all seen how international tournaments have brought together countries for that few minutes and how players are celebrated in their home countries as well as the places they represent. Delving deeper into the sports athlete’s personal life, we see that their salary reaches record-breaking figures.

A lot of people look at a sports athlete’s life with envy, while some complain that they earn too much for what they do. It’s a valid point though, since their salaries are already enough to feed a lot of families out there and some argue that what they do isn’t even a job. However, these reasons might change the way on how you think about the way sports athletes are paid and if they are well worth the money spent on them.

Cream of The Crop

If you think about how much an average manager makes in a year, it won’t be much. On the other hand, if you set your eyes on how much the CEO’s of the best companies make in a year, you’d be shocked. The difference is huge, and it’s rightly justified. Because the CEO is good at what he does, in fact he may be one of the best in managing people. This also applies to the best professionals out there. Whether they’re doctors, engineers, actors, architects, authors, and almost every other profession there is. The professionals who are at the top of their field earn money in jaw-dropping figures.

The same also applies to sports athletes. Although they may play sports, it’s still a profession though it may be glamorous and overrated. They are a few of the best in their chosen sport, which is why teams fight over them and try to woo them with money. In a similar fashion, if the top engineer would also publish how much they make in a year, you’ll start questioning your career and might take up engineering instead.

An Early Start

For a serious career, maybe you’d start thinking about it when you are already 21 or 22 years old and ready to leave all that messing around behind. Other might even choose to postpone their “maturity” for a few years after that. On the other hand, if you wanted to be a professional sport athlete, you should have started training when you were still 10 or 11 years old. Some athletes have even trained at an earlier age than that. Yet this doesn’t always mean that they’ll be accepted in a big league and that they’ll be professionals in the future.

Additionally, after you have studied your major degree in college, you’ll be able to make a living until your retirement age. That’s about 4 or 5 decade’s worth of work and earning. For sports athletes, they start young, and most often they have to quit the sport just after a decade, and that’s already pushing it. They have to give way to younger players who have better stamina, have more raw potential, and are still worthy investments for the team.

This early start means that professional athletes have already skipped being children or teenagers and instead focused on training. What they get in return is a limited time for their career and after that, their future still looks bleak. When athletes reach the 35 year mark, they’re let out into the world without skills that a company could use. Of course, they could coach or use their sports knowledge, but that is a very slim market out there.

Risk of Early Retirement

For athletes that push their bodies to the limit day in and day out even when there’s no game, the risk for injuries are very high. Even sports that are not physically dangerous still carry with it certain career-ending injury risks. This isn’t the same daily risks an architect or laboratory researcher face. For star players, they are able to sign contracts that offer huge amounts of money to guarantee them even if they are forced to retire early. For the other newcomers and aspiring players out there, this option isn’t available and once an injury forces them to retire early, they don’t have a lot of career options.

It’s All for Show

If you step back and think about it, sports don’t have serious consequences. If a team loses, it doesn’t mean that their country’s economy will plummet or they lose certain rights to the winning team. It’s just the same as watching a movie or a drama on TV. However, you should keep in mind that star athletes can’t take the role of actors or musicians out there, and vice versa.

With that in mind, it’s common knowledge that actors and some musicians triple or double the amount an athlete makes in a year. However, a lot of people always scrutinize an athlete’s salary instead of actors or musicians. This might be because a lot of people downplay a sports athlete’s daily tasks instead of actors. A lot of people think that they can’t act or replace the actor in the big screen, but they can easily replace the person playing around with balls on the field. If you seriously consider it, you can’t match an athlete on different levels.

It’s Your Money

One of the common rants people give about a sports athlete’s salary is that it can be spent on much better things like infrastructure, a public servant’s salary, or for national funds. That does make a reasonable argument, except for one thing: the athlete’s salary doesn’t come from the government. If you really want to raise the salary for firefighters or police officers for example, you should be ready to pay higher taxes.

Even if an athlete’s salary is reduced or if he is fired from the team, the money spent for him will not go to infrastructure repair or construction. In fact, because that team will pay lesser taxes, the government will have lesser funds to use. This is because in the end, the people who receive and spend money are the billionaire owners of these sports teams.

Another line of reasoning that people seem to forget easily is that the money used to fund these sporting events come from the fans. All those team merchandise you bought, the game tickets, and even the television subscriptions are charges set by the sports coordinators. It’s not a government event, so the proceeds go to them (although after a tax cut). Once that’s finished, it’s their money to spend. You can’t dictate them, and they won’t listen to you for sure.

It takes a lot of salt to swallow this reality, but these are sound reasons why sports athletes are underpaid. They have sacrificed a lot simply for our entertainment and their future doesn’t look bright when you think about it. In fact, few athletes have functioned as upstanding citizens after they have retired. A lot end up broke, or having trouble with the law. That’s a very steep price, considering the salary they’re getting.