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Essay on Parental Violence and Youth Sports

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Participating in a sport at an early age can be essential to the overall growth process during a child’s upbringing. Whether the participation is through some sort of organized league or just getting together amongst friends and playing, the lessons learned from this can help teach these kids and provide a positive message to them as they develop. There is a certain point, however, when organized sports can hinder progress, which is when adults get too involved and forget about the underlying reason to why they are helping. While adult involvement is necessary, adult involvement can sometimes send the wrong message to children when they try to make participation become more than just about fun and learning. According to Coakley (2009), “organized sports are worth the effort put forth by adults, as long as they do what is in the best interest of their children and put that thought ahead of their own agenda” (Coakley, p. 151). This is a valid argument because once adults put themselves in front of the children and their values, it needs to be re-evaluated as to why they first got involved in the beginning. Partaking in organized sport and activity from a young age can be beneficial to the overall development of children, as long as decisions actions are made in the best interest of the children and not stemming from ulterior motives of adults.
Coakley (2009) starts off the chapter by introducing how participation in organized sports came about and how gender roles played a major role early on. He describes how most programs were for young boys with the hope that being involved would groom them to become productive in the economy. Girls were usually disregarded and ended up sitting in the stands watching their sibling’s ga...


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Lauer L., Gould D., Roman N., Pierce M. (2010). Parental Behaviors That Affect Junior Tennis Player Development. Psychology of Sport and Exercise, 11, 487-496.

Lazar K., Gardner J. (2009, October 19). Police Investigate Ball Field Violence. Retrieved November 1, 2010, from Boston Globe: http://www.boston.com/news/local/massachusetts/articles/2009/10/19/wilmington_parent_injurei_after_spat_with_pop_warner_coach

Sink M. (2002, January 31). HOCKEY; Youth Game Postponed After Fight by Parents. Retrieved November 1, 2010, from New York Times: http://www.nytimes.com/2002/02/01/sports/hockey-youth-game-postponed-after-fight-by-parents.html

Stein G., Raedeke T., Glenn S. (1999). Children’s Perception of Parent Sport Involvement: It’s Not How Much, But to What Degree That’s Important. Journal of Sport and Behavior, 22, 591-601.



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