Children In The Sporting World: The Influences Of Peers And Parents

1979 words - 8 pages

“If my parents were still alive, they would be very proud. They gave me a good start in life, the values that have driven me and the confidence to believe in myself” (Alex Ferguson). A famous quote from arguably the best football manager there ever was, relaying the important role his parents injected in his sporting career. In this essay I will be outlining my experience in partaking in my service learning within Ballinasloe Football club. I will be drawing on past experience of involvement with the club and I will be observing the advantages and disadvantages of children’s participation in this soccer academy and the club. I will be addressing the positives of physical fitness and ...view middle of the document...

I became interested in helping out when my son first attended a under eights training camp that was run by the club on Sunday mornings. I had played at senior level for Ballinasloe in my younger days and I suppose it is natural progression to want your off spring to follow in your footsteps.
My experience of yester years inevitably allowed me to have confidence in my abilities in re-joining the coaching staff of the academy; however, my curiosity was of a wonder if the next generation of children had changed in any way. On my first morning I was eased into my duties by first team coach Noel and partook in a general level. I identified on that morning that I would need to narrow things down and decided to focus on different age levels over the next few weeks. Consecutively I worked over the next few weeks with the eight to ten year olds, ten to twelve and twelve to fourteen. I found that the children’s involvement and interactions remain much the same as when I was involved before. That is to say there is an overwhelming enthusiasm to be playing and involved at all ages, but that coming into their teenage years this team of youngsters appears to organise into different peer groups which in turn leads to an imbalance of the team. To say these groups compete against each other on the field would be stretching it a little too far but off the field and in the dressing room the competitiveness is quite confounded. There is no doubt that all are benefiting from the physical fitness and social standing that being involved in soccer club structure entails judging by the many fans they attract on match days. However as I watched their mums and dads collect their children from training I wonder what role they may have to play in their kids sporting life as experience tells me that sometimes this can be most important in the children’s lives. With these things in mind I decided to explore further the advantages of physical fitness in children, the role of children with their peers in involvement in sport and what role parents have in this involvement.
Tommy Tiernan, a well-known comedian, once commentated on children exploding from a school at break time as “we have loads of running around to do”. This observation is quite apt as any school at break time will reveal. Children have a natural abundance of energy that is waiting in reserve whenever it is called upon. Channelling and using this energy in a structured way is beneficial to children in a physical and emotional way. Hardman & Stencel, (2009) found that physical activity is beneficial for children’s psychological and physical development. Moreover, that lack of physical can contribute an expanse of health problems that often carry over into adulthood. Health benefits include, improved cardiovascular performance, reduced anxiety or stress, better self-esteem, reduced risk of type 2 diabetes and obesity. The fact that obesity is rising rapidly in recent years makes physical activity and staying...

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