The Student Newspaper of Paint Branch High School


The Student Newspaper of Paint Branch High School


The Student Newspaper of Paint Branch High School


The Importance of Introducing Kids to Sports at a Young Age

There’s nothing worse than raising a kid who sits in the house and does nothing when they become a teen. On the other hand, there’s  nothing worse than being a teen who sits at home and does nothing.  The easiest way to avoid this problem of doing nothing is introducing kids to a variety of sports at a young age.

Sports keep kids active and give them something to do. Sports, specifically at a young age, help kids develop social skills such as collaboration, sacrifice, and selflessness. Sports also help kids learn the art of discipline, perseverance, and identity.

In a team sport, you have to learn how to make decisions under pressure to help your  team move in the right direction. Being on a team teaches you that your decisions don’t just affect you, but affect others just as much, or even more. You learn whether you are the leader, the team player, or the supportive player with hidden value. 

In sports played individually, you learn how to control your emotions for your benefit. You learn how to focus on your performance rather than your opponent; however, you also need to know when comparison is needed, when it isn’t, and when it’s necessary for your success; You act according to what is best for you — nothing more, nothing less.

When kids are introduced to sports — team and individual –  they should, whenever possible, become familiar with a variety of sports. Introducing young athletes to both team and individual sports as well as a variety of sports, helps them  establish key aspects of their personal development and values. For example, is scoring a point for their personal benefit worth denying someone else of an opportunity to score? Or should they make sacrifices and pass for the success of both parties, even with the possibility of being recognized on the same scale, they would scoring on their own?

As kids grow, they will learn quickly or over time what sport they like, or whether they like sports at all. When they’ve established this, parents and families  can either push them forward in the sport, or allow them to pursue other interests, such as music, art, writing, or other subjects that they have been introduced to, just as they were with sports. 

You may ask, “What’s the point in putting them in sports if they don’t end up liking them?” One of the pros is that an introduction to sports provides them with knowledge of a topic millions will talk about in the future and another is that they have been shown how to try new things and deal with feeling uncomfortable at times.

According to the University of Missouri Health Care, participating in sports in early years could push adolescents to do better academically, teach teamwork and problem solving skills, maintain and build physical health, boost self-esteem, and reduce pressure and stress; Not to mention, they help kids get more experience and improve at a sport they might pursue a career in. MU Health Cares Adolescent Medicine Team encourages participation in sports as an adolescent because “Physical exercise is good for the mind, body and spirit. Team sports help teach adolescents accountability, dedication, leadership and other skills.”

NBA star Stephen Curry is a good example of someone who benefited from being introduced to multiple sports early.  Curry played basketball all through middle and high school. Early exposure to multiple sports helped him realize and develop a passion for specifically basketball. As an athlete, having more experience than your teammates and opponents helps you to push beyond the average level.

Everything learned in sports: discipline, work ethic under pressure, sacrifice, and selflessness. They learn how to continue after reaching a  goal, perseverance, focus, collaboration, social responsibility. Thousands of other practices and traits learned in sports can be applied to life in the social, mental, emotional, and economic aspects of everyday life and career paths.

So if you ask me, “Is putting kids in sports really worth it?” My answer is a strong “Yes!”

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About the Contributor
Chaya Blount, Staff Writer
Do you have something in your life that you’ve always enjoyed doing? For Paint Branch junior Chaya Blount, that thing is basketball. In fact, Chaya’s favorite activity is playing basketball, something she's done since sixth grade and something she has always been interested in.  When asked which books she has read that have shaped her into who she currently is, Chaya answers, “I’ve read a couple books like Big Nate, Diary of a Wimpy Kid -- Dork Diaries, the tween books.” Her favorite movies are the three Creed films and her favorite TV series is All-American: Homecoming. Her favorite food is pineapple pizza, which, if she had her preferred superpower of flight, she could pick up from the air. As for why she’d want the ability to fly, she notes, “I’d want to fly because sometimes I just need to escape.”  As for how excited she is for her future on a scale of 1-10, she puts herself at about an 8 because “right now, I’m in high school and can’t really do anything. But as far as college goes, I’m pretty excited.”  The last gift she gave a friend was a gift box filled with letters and their favorite snacks. She doesn’t exactly have a favorite music artist because of how many songs and different artists she listens to because she grew up surrounded by all kinds of music. Her mother used to manage Dru Hill, the American R&B group, as well as a Baltimore group called “The Corporates”. Chaya as well has been in the record studio, giving her the chance to make her own music.   By: Noelle Williams

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