Kids in sports: Is it beneficial or not?

Last week, I had the opportunity to do an interview with Matt Connarton on wmnh radio. You can hear my interview by clicking here. The topic of conversation was whether parents should put their kids in sports.

However, our conversation began by talking about the recent protests during the national anthem of some NFL football players. We discussed the changing of the narrative from the issue of racial justice to the accusation of “disrespect to the military.” We then discussed my family’s identification as Quakers, and why we do not stand for the anthem or the pledge to the flag. One of the reasons is because we do not believe in taking oaths to anything other than God, especially governments. The other reason – which specifically explains our lack of support for the anthem – is that we are anti-war, and the national anthem is a war song.

Next, we shifted to discussing the issue of CTE risk for football players, and how it is similar to the brain injuries that are often seen in soldiers who have been in combat.

Finally, we discussed putting kids in sports. A recent article about this topic indicates that the benefits of sports participation are especially felt by kids in sports at early ages. In those early ages, the main focus is on fun, trying out new skills, and positive feedback. When a child can experience a sporting activity without any concern for who wins or loses, and there is no potential of ridicule or disappointment on the part of his parents, coaches or teammates, there is the potential for feelings of competence and mastery.

These feelings of competence and mastery enter a feedback loop that leads to greater interest and liking of physical activity, which in turn leads to skill improvements that increase competence and mastery. With a national epidemic in obesity on our hands, anything that can transform kids in sports into lifelong lovers of exercise is well worth advocating.

Enjoy our conversation! As always, Matt was a great host.

Let me know your thoughts...