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With one exception, I found most people involved in team sports in school to be rather narcissistic, mean, & contemptuous of those who weren't a part of their little world.I grew to hate sports, especially football, because that was the center of the universe of the school...what about other physical activity, such as dance? there is a great deal of discipline, expression to be learned in this. I have no problem with fun but i do have issues with the emphasis on team sports. Not everyone has the disposition & this discussion does not explore physical activity only competition/team sports ...
whats wrong with sports just being fun for the participants?
1st generation immigrant parents do not understand the payoff of a sports career. Immigrants parents can not imagine people who like them being successful in sports and earn a living. Immigrants do see doctors, scientist, lawyers and bankers as jobs available to immigrant communities.
I was on a swim team in high school, and it gave me an exercise that I have been doing ever since. I go to the pool and swim a mile a few times a week. A sports experience growing up can help people stay fit. With obesity issues in this country, I think it's a very valuable thing for kids.
I'm sure sports are also fun! No? I don't play any but when I see people playing basketball in the parks and touch football, etc, they look like they're having fun!! Hullo-o! What's wrong with fun?
To Molly  ... no one said sports were the ONLY venue to learn team building and dealing with competion, but it is the most common and most available to most children.
Plus, sports are an avenue which kids themselves shouldn't need adults to organize a game for them (but unfortunately nowadadys too often do.)
Sports are incredibly important to discipline and strengthen our bodies. Play and fitness are extremely important for mental, physical and overall health.
This discussion has such a geek v. jock subtext which really should be beside the point. Geeks that don't play sports need to get their physical exercise & fun someplace else, they still need the exercise and fun, and jocks still need an education. Let's stop debating our prejudices and projecting from high school unhappiness and just recognize that it's not a zero sum game between sports and academics.
Ironically, the Chinese are the ones who developed the philosophy of the scholar warrior, a person who is dedicated to both the life of the mind and the life of the body: martial arts, archery, horseback riding, etc. Balance, as has been said here, is the key, and creates the right type of person.
I agree with Molly. I am very small and always have been and was terrible when it came to team games. Sports used to scare me so consequently I was NOT very athletic. I had the benefit of going to a British high school for a number of years and finished off at an American high school. The emphasis on sports at the American high school was very very big.
I went into the Theatre and actually this is a great way to teach kids to work together and collaborate.
Balance. That's the key. And sports -- for all the things it can teach and the pleasure it can bring (not to mention the health benefits -- are a part of the balance.
But when people/kids are obsessesed with sports, the balance is no more.
Dedication to a team sport can replace much of what is lost by not spending time in the military: self-discipline, the need to practice a task to perfection, respect for a more knowledgable leader, understanding you aren't always the center of attention, the need for obedience at some times and independent action at others, overall physical fitness. Military membership comes as a high price these days, so dedication to a sport may be a better path.
I see this form of expression as a cultural thing for a country thats not accustomed to this type of achievement.
I was in Junior High in the late 60's. Sports were the place where it was perfectly ok to bully the weak, with the support of the coaches. This was in Minnesota. I saw the kids who were not coordinated get crushed. Luckily for me I did tolerably well in most games and could be invisible in the rest. Sports now seem to be totally out of control. Kids are pulled out of normal life and trained like Army Rangers..by the time their "careers" are done they have nothing in life but to be a coach or in some way attached to their sport.It would be great to go back to that mythical time when kids gathered on the vacant lot to play ball.
For kids, I think competitive sports, especially team sports, are a great way to learn:-working with others (fellow teammates and/or the other side)-working toward a goal-dealing with disappointment-pushing the physical limits of this amazing concept of intelligence and the human body
Unfortunately, it's not good if/when parents hammer in that winning is the only thing you're supposed to get out of competition.
Mike Mussina was drafted out of highschool but went on to Stanford - now he is the Yankee's Ace. When I have children I would love them to play sports and succeed academically - but it wouldn't matter at all if they were unhappy
I don't know why people always say sports are the only place to learn team building and competition. There are lots of venues for that that also build thinking and problem-solving skills. My kids have done a creative-thinking competition called Destination Imagination for years, and have learned great lessons about healthy competition, working as a team, and thinking creatively. Or what about the Model United Nations? A debate team? And those teach skills that kids can used for a life time, unlike many high school athletes who quickly give up the sports after school.
I was never interested in any sport except if you count handball to be a sport. I think baseball is the stupidest of games and I don't watch any sports from lack of interest. BUT I do NOT think sports are a waste of time, rather they are a challenging and good way for those who are interested in a sports to spend time learning useful physical and mental skills and diversion as well. I get my exercise and challenge from exercising and playing the organ.
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