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Violence in Youth Sports

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Involving your child in sports is important part of growing up. There are several benefits to children playing sports. The child will learn how to make friends outside of school, church, and family. It will help develop self-esteem and physical skills. They discover what it means to be a member of a team and how to win and lose with self-respect. Children also need to be active every day; exercise promotes growth and improves physical and emotional health. The Office of the Surgeon General states that “active children are at less risk to high blood pressure, diabetes, heart disease as well as many cancers” (Office of the Surgeon General 2007).
Growing up, my brothers participated in many sports activities. They played hockey in the winter and baseball in the summer. Practice was held once a week and a game was scheduled for the weekend. The coach was usually a volunteer teacher or a parent of a teammate. In my brothers’ free time, they simply played whatever sport or game they wanted to play. Youth sports have changed in the past 30 years. Children as young as four years old are playing in one specialized sport and stay with this sport year round. At age ten, many kids have private coaching and attend specialized clinics in the off season. The coach is usually someone with a background in sports, either a retired professional player or coach. Practices are now scheduled for twice a week and attending a weekly clinic is strongly recommended, with a strength conditioning workout schedule between practices. All of these changes mean more involvement time for the parents. Parents are now spending up ten hours a week watching their children compete with other children, and this pressure can sometimes be too much for the parent.
In 2002, Thomas Junta was convicted of involuntary manslaughter after he attacked Michael Costin, who later died of his injuries. Mr. Costin was…...

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