Parental Pressure On Athletes

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For kids, playing sports should be a time of fun, a way to build social skills and promote healthy self-esteem. Unfortunately, these simple concepts can be lost in the wake of parental pressure to succeed and be the best. This paper will discuss different effects that parental pressure can have on children athletes such as burnout, anxiety and expectations and injury. No parent signs their kids up to play sports with the hope that their child will one day hate the chosen sport. They sign them up with the expectations that their child will have fun, learn to be socially skilled or have a healthier childhood. Every child athlete needs a cheering section and a major source of support and encouragement comes from their parents. This parental support has been shown to lead to greater enjoyment of sports and more positive self worth and a positive outlook on performance (win or lose). However, some parents become so focused on their child perfecting every aspect of the game that they forget to let the child have fun. ( Hoyle and Leff). Some parents push their children to exceed expectations and view any loss or error in the game as failure. This is parental pressure. This pressure can lead to dissatisfaction with sport participation and can have a very negative impact on appraisals of self worth. (Hoyle and Leff). This pressure from parents can often lead to burnout. Burnout is exhaustion of physical strength, emotional strength or motivation usually due to prolonged stress or frustration (Merriam Webster Dictionary “Burnout”). Burnout can lead to lack of enthusiasm, frequent illnesses, weight loss and loss of appetite, decreased school performance, and sleep disturbances. (Children’s Memorial). Children who experience burnout will often times sidelines themselves or worse turn to steroids or other performance enhancers. Some children will give up on exercise and

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