A heated debate exists regarding whether competitive sports are good or bad for youth. When competition goes sour, it creates anxiety, animosity, and poor attitudes. However, when done well, a little friendly competition can create a strong bond in the community. A perpetual trophy passed around year after year becomes a symbol everyone can be proud of.
Promotes Physical Activity
With the advance of technology, childhood has changed a lot in the past 20 years. Screen time has become a cautionary word and parents often wonder how to encourage their children to be more active. Organized sports gives children a fun way to be active.
Teamwork and Cooperation
The other side of competition is cooperation. Each player must be aware of their teammates as they work toward a perpetual trophy. They will need guidance in learning how to cooperate and organized sports gives the perfect opportunity to practice and learn.
The star players can learn to appreciate how they need their teammates in order to shine – every pitcher needs a catcher. The struggling player can learn to appreciate their friend’s talents and can find ways to support the team even when they’re sitting on the bench.
Emotional Intelligence and Self Discipline
Competition is stressful and it can be a good form of stress. It provides opportunities to learn about working toward a goal you may or may not achieve. Children can learn how to celebrate winning without gloating or handle the disappointment of losing without giving up.
To be part of a team, children have to show up and do the work. They go to practices and run when they may rather be at home watching television. They can’t simply show up at games without doing the work of practice. It’s an experiential way of learning about self-discipline and hard work.
Most people enjoy watching a sporting event, especially when they know the players. Families and community members come together to watch and cheer on their friends. People who don’t enjoy watching sports on television may find local sports much more engaging because they know the players.
The Perpetual Trophy: Guidance is Key to Healthy Competition
Competition in sports can be a great learning experience for youth when coaches and parents provide guidance in sportsmanship. Passing a perpetual trophy around for years gives teams a sense of pride and the recognition that victory comes and goes. With some guidance, competitive sports can be a great tool for building character during formative years.