Participation in competitive sports has long been a staple of high school culture. Not only does it help kids stay in shape, learn focus and socialize but it also teaches them about working under pressure. Competition is about challenging yourself to improve. But the world of competitive sports also has a negative side. If not monitored, competitive sports can harm athletes physiologically, socially and physically.
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Competitive sports improve athletic skill and teach players how to work with teammates and win, which can be helpful lessons. When the focus shifts from athleticism to winning, however, what was once an enjoyable and supportive activity can turn into a high-pressure and anxiety-filled job for a child. The mounting pressure to play well can increase stress and make children feel bad and lose confidence should they make mistakes or lose. Even players who win most of the time may lose the pleasure of participating because of the pressure they place on themselves.
Increasing Risk of Injuries
According to Science Daily, competitive success that leads to extra hours of training and practice increases the risk of burnout and overuse injuries. One study concluded that overuse injures account for 50 percent of all reported sports injuries. The risk of injuries during competition may also rise. The intensity of competitive games can lead players to disregard rules, increasing opportunities for torn ligaments, muscle aches and other injuries.
Confusing Commitment with Exclusivity
Although learning the importance of focus can benefit players of competitive sports, this lesson can take a negative turn in children who become unwilling to participate in activities other than their sport of choice. Because of the dedication and time required to perfect the skills that contribute to winning, players may lose the desire to do anything else because it pales in comparison to practicing and playing. Such extreme levels of exclusivity can be detrimental because they limit sports players' abilities to practice moderation, broaden their horizons and become well-rounded student-athletes.
Developing Poor Attitude
Winning is always one of the main objective of sports competitions. Coaches spend tremendous amounts of time perfecting drills and shaping their plays to give players a competitive edge. If not monitored, the drive to win can soon change to a win-at-all-costs mentality that can lead to attitude problems. The attitude that you must win can encourage cheating and difficulty getting along with others on and off the field