Effect of Professional Sport on Children

When the world is an oyster for Generation Y, there is no earthly reason why any career option, however unconventional or daunting it might seem, should be off-limits for them. Professional Sport, as a lucrative career option is huge by business standards and it is bound to have a mammoth impact on impressionable minds as an ultimate goal.

On a surface level, it is a dream run for today’s youngsters. If at all, by dint of their perseverance, dedication and immense good fortune they can crack their way into the big league; name, fame and money is theirs to claim.

After a long and arduous run, have the children of today found a vent to release the increasing pressure of academics and dwell on something they have always enjoyed doing. Battling it out on the field brings with it along with positive impact on health a lot of happy hormones, a delicious blend of endorphins, dopamine and serotonin, leading to a holistic sense of well-being. Depression and anxiety disorders are kept at bay and a sense of wellness pervades.

The camaraderie and rapport built with peers and co-players spills over in their social relationships off the track, often leading to solid friendships, built over time ,which last lifelong.

The ability to take loss in their stride, build strategies, learning to abide by rules or else be penalized are all lessons well learnt on the field and relevant in the pragmatic world. Leadership skills are nurtured, ability to watch the back of friends and see through enemy tactics all lead to make an acutely smart, well-informed and confident generation.

Conflict management in a positive manner and consciousness of healthier body image are the obvious take-offs from this onerous career option.

However, it is not all sunny and bright when we talk about this venturesome career option. In a bid to outdo and outshine others, which is required to make their way into the very narrow lanes of big league of professional sport, the element of fun and adventure is lost, which is the key to a healthy indulgence. Attrition rate is high, physical endurance is stretched out, resilience is tested and the result is anxiety, low self-esteem and an unnatural fear of failure.

Each individual has his own graph of growth and development and to pitch youngsters on such a competitive level from such a young age is bound to take its toll on their fragile minds and yet to develop bodies.

In absence of proper assessment tools and lack of advanced training techniques, there is always a mismatch between a child’s readiness to be inducted into a particular sport or danger of pushing him before his time into the big arena.

The singular objective of any young athlete being inspired to take up sports should be to have fun and play to the best of his ability. The lure of popularity and big money should not dilute the basic fundamentals of the game.

Only scientific methods of assessment, professional level of training designed specifically, keeping in mind the distinct need of each child can ensure a smooth roll-over from games, as fun to sports, as a profession.

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