Developing social skills, teamwork and sportsmanship are reasons that are often given in favor of kids participating in these classes. It is difficult to argue against these points as it is quite clear that this is certainly an avenue for developing these important traits. Few would argue that such development would not benefit children in many ways in their youth and throughout adulthood as well.
On the other side of this argument is the concern about the effect of competition on developing youth. Some may be prone to being excessively competitive, which can be a hindrance socially and beyond. Others may have issues with lowered self-esteem if they are not as successful, which can have a wide range of negative effects on children as well as adults.
Another benefit that is sometimes cited is the stress relief that comes with physical activity. Modern kids tend to live more stressful lives in many ways than previous generations did and sports are often seen as a healthy outlet for stress and tension due to the physical and social aspects that are involved.
While this can certainly be true, the exact opposite can occur as well. It is certainly not uncommon for children to be subjected to an intense amount of pressure to perform well in their chosen sports. This can come from any number of avenues including their peers, parents, coaches and even the child himself or herself.
One of the simple and most essential benefits is the physical exercise that the kids receive. This factor is not one to be taken lightly given the sedentary nature of the modern lifestyle. Fostering a healthy body and developing good exercise habits that can be carried on into adulthood are indeed important considerations.
One drawback to this added exercise is the risk of injury that is inherent in many such activities. American football, rugby and other collision sports obviously have a higher risk than ones such as tennis and golf, but none are completely free of jeopardizing the health of the participants. Major and minor injuries can both have long-lasting effects, both physically and mentally.
It would be virtually impossible for anyone to claim that sport classes for kids are completely good or completely bad as there are obvious pros and cons that must be considered. Every child is different physically, mentally and emotionally. Whether these classes are a good idea must be decided on a case-by-case basis based on each individual's desires and attributes. Parents must take careful consideration of the benefits and drawbacks and weigh them against the desires and personality of their child when deciding if participating in these classes is best for them.
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