Playing sports is one of the crucial activities for the betterment of the health of children and adults. However, sports can also become a cause of injuries, illnesses and dissatisfaction. Taking into consideration how hard it can be to combine sport activity of interest with one’s disability and how limited accommodations are in place to ensure every human being has equal access to righteous sports they would enjoy, is a topic for another article. In this article we focus on the role of sports in average child’s life and what advantages or disadvantages it can bring.
Play and sports are an integral part of the lives of people of different ages and social statuses. Sport represents the common human good and is one of the most applied forms of human creativity. The propensity for sports expression of human abilities, desire and satisfaction in expanding the limits of human possibilities, spontaneity and interest in intense human interactions that takes place in sports competition, gives sport a special potential, which is especially important at children and youth. In the past, childhood was the most active part of human life. Today’s children are preoccupied with computers, television, things that do not cause enough stimuli for the quality development of the musculoskeletal system. According to some research, most children are not at all able any more to withstand the demands of the sports games in which they participate.
There is a great influence of physical exercise on the preservation and improvement of the child’s health and on the harmonious development of all his anthropological characteristics. Moderate exercise in young people increases energy expenditure, increases HDL, lowers LDL, lowers blood pressure, increases insulin sensitivity with less cardiovascular disease, type 2 diabetes, osteoporosis, colon and breast tumors in adulthood and has a beneficial effect on the clotting system. It is especially important that children develop the habit of doing a physical activity. Childhood obesity is related to time spent in front of the TV. Inactivity as a special risk factor for complications of the cardiovascular system is close to hypertension, smoking and hypercholesterolemia.
Apart from preserving health and creating work habits and coping mechanisms, sport also has a significant social role. This role is primarily focused on educational values. The influence of sports on the formation of personality is significant. It enables children to develop their human qualities and promotes authentic human values. Strive for love, life, and togetherness prevents selfish introversion and is a powerful barrier to the spread of drugs and alcohol use and crime that are prevalent in every society nowadays. Unfortunately, we see more focus put merely on success and competitiveness and this overtake the educational piece itself. Instead of primarily acquiring knowledge, skills, emerging abilities and adoption of moral values, as the goals of sports activities, the emphasis is more on achieving high results and success is increasingly emphasized. For this reason, it is necessary to pay more attention to the educational aspects of working with children in sports.
Educational influence on young athletes comes from coaches and teachers who work directly with them. There is also a significant role that parents, peer groups and the environment play in developing of sport spirit, directly or indirectly. Regular physical education classes, which are available to all children, create pressure for achieving the results within sports clubs, where success has been becoming the number one priority. The survival of clubs is often directly related to achievements. Therefore, coaches, despite their knowledge and good intentions, under pressure from club managements, parents and others, often place educational work with children in the background. However, it is coaches and sports psychologists who should constantly emphasize that the basic goal of sports activities for children and young people is balanced psycho-physical-social development.
A child is attracted to sports because of fun, play, and a good role models – coaches. Many children start rejecting sports when winning is an imperative in form of pressure from ambitious parents. This can cause frequent injuries, lack of progress, boredom, and the lack of motivation. A child who is dissatisfied with sports training, suffers from mood disorders, fears, insomnia, is tired and gives up at school. A child is not a diminutive adult, so his stages of maturation, which are different for each person, should be respected. The rule is that children start top competitive training as soon as possible. However, the beginning of professional practice in certain sports is getting earlier.
It is necessary to distinguish sport from recreation even though they have a lot in common. The basic feature of sport is competition and there is no sport without competition. The athlete can compete with time, metric units, weight management, natural and atmospheric obstacles and usually with opponents. The main feature of recreation is entertainment and fun, and the main goal is not to win but to raise and maintain the body’s abilities and good physical and mental condition.
In children, a distinction should be made between play, physical education at school and school sports, and involvement in the training of top sports. As soon as the child walks and slowly manages to run, some parents already have the idea of playing football together, skating in pairs and so on. But, the introduction to a specific sports activity for such small children should still be adjusted to their maturity, physical abilities and desire to play through which they learn and train their skills the most. The child’s psychophysical health should also be kept in mind, because at this sensitive age, despite all the advantages that physical movement and sports have, there is another side to the coin. If, for example, a child feels that he has poorer results than other peers, he may feel less valuable and unmotivated, which in no way benefits his character building. In addition to immaturity in an emotional sense, playing sports can also lead to bodily injuries if a child is overworked or accidentally falls. True, such a thing can happen with any harmless active game. In addition to the strong obligations they have at school, foreign language or piano courses and art workshops, the sports activity chosen must be unburdening, one that children will go to with joy, and which will at the same time relieve them of stress, have a positive effect on the load on the spine. bags and teach them the competitive spirit, teamwork and above all create from an early age the habit of playing sports that will continue during growing up and grow into a part of everyday life.
Due to the undoubted value of the sport, it should be available to anyone who opts for the sport. Apart from the fact that one of the primary goals of sports is to achieve the best, best and top results in the chosen branch of sports, it is believed that sports and sports must have for children and other messages, especially those that have lasting value. These are developing the right attitude towards health, creating habits and values of orientation about what, how, how much and why you should exercise. Healthy, agile, skilful and skilled children can more easily endure all the adversities and difficulties of life and can more easily perform their work and social tasks. The tasks of physical education are based on the ability to stimulate the physical growth and development of children, the development of the psychomotor system and the general functional abilities of the organism. This task is accomplished by a well-designed system of exercises, games, creating habits for a healthy and hygienic life, and proper posture. Any sport, any physical activity activates the complete locomotor system crucial for the transformation of energy that is essential for the activity of all cells in the body, and sport and physical activity can be treated as a determinant for the harmonious development of all child characteristics and anthropological characteristics.
Involvement of children in sports activities today is more focused on parents than on children. While children used to engage in physical activities in their backyards and outdoor children’s playgrounds, social changes and parents ’fears for children’s safety have resulted in greater involvement of children in organized sports clubs. Thus, from the informal game, sport has acquired a completely new character of activity that is strictly supervised by parents. In addition to their physical presence, they engage with their expectations and pressures on children. However, if the child is not successful in what he is doing, he should be helped, and not expect too much just because they train every day. The experience of success and personal efficiency are fundamental factors in the development of self-image and the prevention of unwanted behaviors. Successful sports are a strong factor in the development of self-esteem. Athletes show significantly more global self-esteem than non-athletes. However, if a child or adolescent involved in a sporting activity is not successful, it can be a risk factor for his psychological development. Unsuccessful athletes thus become more aggressive, have more pronounced problems of breaking the rules and show greater withdrawal, which is possibly a consequence of their failure in sports activity. It is not enough to just observe involvement in sports, and ignore other important components, such as success, motivation and responsibility in work. If this is not the case, playing sports does not have to have a positive effect. That is why coaches and parents should pay special attention to children who are unsuccessful in sports. Prolonged experience of failure in an important activity can have detrimental consequences on the development of their personality, distortion of self-image, development of maladaptive behaviors, social status in a peer group and efficiency in many other activities. It is necessary to understand the reasons for failure and direct further work towards achieving success, which can be defined differently for each child individually. A common parental mistake is excessive concern for the child’s athletic success which can put a heavy burden on the child and cause far-reaching consequences. The most important thing for a child is to have a good time at sports activities and socialize with peers. Setting unrealistically high goals in front of him can cause a loss of self-confidence and permanently disrupt the relationship between parent and child. Many children’s sports educators believe that sports should be played, and this is very often the simplest formula for success. Athletes themselves state that the main motives for engaging in and persevering in sports activities are success, fun and challenge. Excessive emphasis on only one of these motives can have unintended consequences, and the goal of the work of sports workers is to balance them.
Nowadays, when sport loses its immediate joy and becomes a painstaking exercise, work with young people should be directed so that the ratio of fun, spontaneity and enthusiasm is always sufficiently dosed with hard work, set goals and expected results.