The Disadvantages of Children in Sports

By Shelley Tounzen
A group of young soccer players pose for a photo.
A group of young soccer players pose for a photo.

Children playing sports is simply a part of life for many families. Participation in sports begins as early as 4 years of age. This is a great source of exercise and social development for many kids, but there are some drawbacks to children playing sports. Sports injuries could have lasting effects on children and the time and cost of playing sports put a lot of pressure on families.

Sports Injuries

A young boy throws a basketball.
A young boy throws a basketball.

One-third of injuries sustained by children are sports related. More than 3-million children suffer sports injuries each year. Children playing contact sports, such as football, suffer more injuries, and more serious trauma than noncontact sports. Sprains and strains are the most common types of injuries reported.

Too Competitive

Boys on a little league team celebrate a winning game in a SUV.
Boys on a little league team celebrate a winning game in a SUV.

Participating in competitive sports can result in children becoming too competitive. Once this begins, children may look at their individual worth based on how often they win. This can also affect their social skills and standing. Competitive children will put down his peers if they are not as successful. This also puts significant pressure on a child to win.

Parental Intrusion

Parents cheer for young runners at a track and field event.
Parents cheer for young runners at a track and field event.

Parents want to support their children, but it can get out of control quickly. Parents can become overly invested in the success of the team and put winning above all else, even manners. Parents yell at children, coaches, even referees. They demand that the coach put their child back in the game, and take a lesser talented child out. Parents may even fight with other parents. This gives kids a negative message and may lead to them not wanting to play the game any longer.

Time

Three young children play in the grass together.
Three young children play in the grass together.

Children playing sports often takes a lot of time away from the family and studies. Between practice, games and travel time, there is not much free time for family time, play time or study time. Children should not be over-booked. They need time to play with friends and develop social skills outside of organized sports.

Cost

Two children dressed in soccer uniforms hug their mom in a parking lot.
Two children dressed in soccer uniforms hug their mom in a parking lot.

Playing sports requires a significant financial investment. Children must have uniforms, equipment and provide a registration fee. If the child plays on a tournament team, they may be required to pay per game. If family and friends desire to watch a game, they must pay to enter the field or arena.

About the Author

Shelley Tounzen obtained a Bachelor of Arts degree in journalism from the University of Arkansas at Little Rock. She has been writing professionally for more than nine years. Currently, Tounzen works as a public relations specialist. Her articles have been published in "Chanel Life" magazine and on various websites.