I remember being a kid in the early 90s, playing little league and pop Warner football. The weeknights when I was busy practicing whatever sport was in season; after that having to do my homework for class. Sports kept me busy as a youth because it gave me something positive to do with all the spare time I had. That’s why I believe that sports are a good way for kids to stay away from negative things out there. Without sports or extracurricular activities, kids are more likely to be involved in gangs, or use drugs, and not want to receive an education.
When I was in elementary school, I started playing baseball. I would finish class, stay after school and do my homework there. Then when I was done, my mom would pick me up and take me to practice, for a few hours. After I was done, I would head home and finish whatever I had to do, whether it was homework or chores. We practiced twice a week and played Saturday mornings. My coaches growing up would encourage me and my teammates to do in school and to stay out of trouble. Playing baseball kept me busy and entertained, because when I wasn’t playing, I would go to dodger games with my dad or just catch the ball. Both my parents were active in keeping me busy with sports because they themselves grew up playing them and felt that I would benefit from it too. They wanted me to have positive things and influences in my life, so that I would stay out of trouble.
When I got to high school, my focus shifted to another sport. I started playing football. I loved it because it was a contact sport. During the summer and season, practice and school kept me busy. My parents and sister were very supportive. They came to every game, home or away. After I graduated from high school, I decided to not pursue it at the J.C level, but to focus on school. Playing football helped me develop self-confidence and respect. It also gave me friends that I’m still close with. Sports do a lot for the youth of America. Sports give kids a way to learn to compete in a friendly environment.
When I have kids, I plan on doing the same thing with them. I want to keep them busy with sports or music; to have some sort of positive contribution in their lives because I will have known how it worked for me and for others around me as well. Sports are important in a youth’s life.
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