This I Believe

Donald - Richmond, Kentucky
Entered on May 7, 2007
Age Group: 18 - 30
Themes: question, sports

This I Believe

You know what I believe about sports now a day; it has forgotten everything that it was originally conceived for. It was supposed to develop leadership, teamwork, communication, bonds, and prepare young kids for adult life. The emphasis used to be to teach the kids that it does not matter whether you win or lose, but that you tried your hardest and never gave in, that you played with pride and respect. You played for the fun of the game. Now everything is about winning. Even if you go to a middle school or high school game you can tell the emphasis of winning has already been placed on them by both the coach and the parents, kids crying and upset because they came out of the game or missed a shot. What happened to playing for the love of the game? What happened to the respect these players had for their teammates, opponents, and their selves? It does not matter if you miss the shot or lose a game. It’s just a game, meant to be enjoyable and fun, not stressful and painful. High school sports were meant to teach young adults about life. About how to work together and try your hardest, knowing that this is all you can do. Now everything has evolved into doing anything to win. And as you get into college it becomes even worse. College athletes’ now are taking money and gifts from boosters and anonymous subjects, leaving early to make their millions in the pros instead of showing loyalty to the coach that gave them a chance to play. Now I am not saying that all athletes are this way but it seems today that a growing number are turning to this make money as soon as possible life style. It’s not just the few disrespectful athletes to blame. Coaches and administration play just as large a role. Kids are now ending up in bar room brawls and shootings, but the coach and public bail them out saying it was not their fault or they were just in the wrong place at the wrong time. Some programs have a dreadful dropout rate, some graduating less then 50% of their players. What happened to going to college to get an education and prepare yourself for the real world?

I want everyone out there to know that I do not want to write this paper or say these things, but I believe someone has to. Sports during this age from middle school all the way up to the professionals have lost its former image which it was founded on and I don’t know if it will ever come back. I would also like to say that I am not completely perfect myself. I played sports and at one time in my life I let it control what kind or person I was and how I treated others. I am not really proud of that time but looking back I can now see how absurd the situation really was. All I hope is that whoever reads this can see what I am trying to say. We need to look beyond the money and the popularity down to what sports is supposed to teach us.