The Power of Athletics on a Child’s Devolpment

Geoff - Getzville, New York
Entered on December 14, 2008
Age Group: 18 - 30
Themes: children, sports

I believe in the power of running and athletics with developing children to adults. When I talk about power I mean the way sports easily teach children lessons about life. Sports teach the good things in life but the bad things as well.

When I was a young boy my father put me into athletics. I had no choice in the matter for I was only five years old. I played hockey and baseball. I didn’t really like either of the sports when I started out. I was always the small one or least noticed on the team. When I was younger I was always more underdeveloped than most. However I stuck with it. I may have thrown baseball away, but I kept the Hockey. I formed many bonds with teammates and coaches and I always tried my hardest.

Fast-forward a bit, I am fifteen now. I am a freshman in high school. In middle school I was never involved in clubs. I didn’t have many friends. I was shy, short, had braces and low self-esteem. I sometimes chuckle at this because now people describe me as self-absorbed. I made a bold decision before my freshman year. I decided to join the cross-country team to see how I would like it. I never ran competitively before in my life. I thought I had great stamina and endurance so I thought I might give it a try. Here I am the first day of cross-country practice. Surrounding me are tens of upperclassman and I can’t feel anything except intimidation. We had our two weeks

of practice before our first week, where I worked as hard as I could. Then I ran my first race ever. I had no idea the length, how to run it, or what I was up against. It wasn’t the best news when I heard it was 3.1 miles. Even though I didn’t know what to do most of my freshman season I ran as hard as I could every race. I got a varsity letter, rookie of the year and respect of my teammates.

Participating in cross-country and track during high school really gave me a sense of myself. As I developed as a runner I developed as a person. I learned self-confidence, work ethic and leadership. In just a four-year span I went from shy little freshman to an outspoken senior captain. To think of how I would’ve turned out if I didn’t run in high school scares me. When I graduated and looked back on my high school career. It is really defined by maturation and achievements in sports. Sports and running always made me feel good about myself. It brought me to highs and lows. It was a love hate relationship really. In the end running really made me a better person. When I think of how powerfully sports altered my growth on a scale of zero to ten, I would say ten without question. I truly believe if any person loves a sport and embraces it, they will have a lot of enjoyment in their life and take a lot out of it.

I think putting children into sports at an early age is a good thing to a child’s maturation. Put aside the reputation for athletes being party animals and stupid. I would say that’s one percent of the athlete population. When you make a child play

a sport you’re teaching your child valuable lessons which they will use in everyday life. They will learn how to follow directions, become leaders, learn work ethic and

learn to try there hardest in whatever they do. That was my biggest lesson learned from sports. I myself still run competitive races. I do not always receive the place I always want. However I always run my heart out and I am never ashamed of what place I get. A key lesson to learn, as long as you try your hardest, you can never be disappointed at what you do.