Argumentative Essay Are Youth Sports Beneficial or Detrimental to the Youth

Argumentative Essay: Are Youth Sports Beneficial or Detrimental to the Youth?

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Are Youth Sports Beneficial or Detrimental to the Youth?


Statistics show that female high school students involved in sports are 80% likely to become pregnant, 92% less likely to abuse drugs and three times more likely to graduate than their counterparts that are not athletes. So much is going on in our day-to-day lives and it is easy to lose sight of the bigger picture. Sports are beneficial for young adults and lead to great outcomes for society. Partaking in any extracurricular activity is a big commitment for both individuals and families and youth sports is not an exception. Parents must juggle schedules to take their children to practice and games. While some people find youth sports too competitive and intense, most families are aware of the numerous benefits of participation in youth sports, a factor that makes it easy for them to put up with any short-term challenges. As a matter of fact, recent research found that 76% of parents push their children to engage in sports in middle school and high school. Noteworthy, majority of athletes in school-based teams started in youth leagues. While proponents see the value of youth participation in sports, opponents hold that youth sports are detrimental to the youth. This essay argues that youth participation are beneficial and not detrimental to the youth.

Supporting Arguments

Leads to Increased Health and Physical Activity

One of the main reasons youth participation in sports is beneficial is that it leads to increased physical activity as well as health. Nowadays, young people face temptations to lead an inactive lifestyle. Vividly speaking, too many youths fall for the trap. The use of technology among children is on the rise which means that they are spending less time outdoors. Statistics show that only one in three children engages in daily physical exercise (Anderson-Butcher, 2019). To prevent children from lapsing into inactivity, signing children up for a youth sports program helps them have good health habits. Even exercising one day per week regularly can be beneficial. Youths that play sports tend to have stronger bones and muscles, lower body fat, and increased cardiovascular fitness. Additionally, they are t less risk of becoming obese or overweight and it also becomes easy for them to form a foundation for a healthy lifestyle.

Improved Academic Potential

The second benefit of youth sports participation is that it translates into the improved academic potential for players. Most young individuals that pursue sports tend to be goal driven and possess strong self-concepts. As a matter of fact, numerous studies have established a link between academic success and youth sports. One research found that a huge percentage of athletes reported having scored an average of A in their studies. Students that play sports are far more likely to have strong career and educational goals too. Majority of them aspire to graduate college with both a graduate degree and a professional program.

Forms Community and Social Bonds

Thirdly, youth sports are beneficial as they help youths develop community and social bonds. For majority of the children, playing sports is an easy avenue of making friends. Being a part of a sports team gives youth an opportunity to know other children in their school, neighborhood, and local area. Usually, these friendships tend to last long as they continue outside the field after the season has come to an end (Reverdito, Galatti, Carvalho, Scaglia, A. J., Côté, Gonçalves, & Paes, 2017). It is a chance for them to reflect on shared interests and fun times spent on the field. Additionally, playing in a league helps youth form stronger connections with their community. Youths get a chance to know adults that serve as league officials or volunteer coaches. They form relationships with trusted adults that can become significant role models. Moreover, children have a chance to witness first-hand the value of volunteer service. Essentially, participating in sports helps them understand what it means to be a positive contributor to the community.

Sports Help Build a Foundation for Lifelong Health

Additionally, youth sports are beneficial as they help in laying foundation for lifelong health. Taking part in sports helps young individuals have healthy habits that will last a lifetime. Often, while young, children will likely experiment with numerous sports, but only concentrate on one or two as they grow older. The youths that take on sports are aware that regular practice helps them acquire new skills. More intense training helps bring higher performance levels. Once their participation in sports comes to an end, their motivation for self-improvement tends to linger. Researchers have found that youth athletes tend to become active in their adulthood. One long-term research found that youths that engage in sports between the ages of nine and eighteen were five to six times more likely to become active in their adulthood (Rogol, Cumming, & Malina, (2018). In some instances, taking part in youth sports once a week translated into a much higher probability of being active as adults. Without a doubt, engaging in regular physical activity during the early years of life leads to a healthier future.

Sports Train Youth How to Face and Overcome Challenges

Another benefit of youth sports participation is that it helps youths learn how to face and overcome their challenges. The benefits of engaging in sports extend beyond the court, field, or arena. By playing sports, children learn important skills such as making quick decisions and working as a team. These positive traits serve these youths well in their future careers. At times, young athletes tend to experience discomfort which comes with having teammates rely on them or being on the spotlight. They experience at least one difficult loss, as it is inevitable. Still a majority of youth athletes are aware that they have the support of their families and coaches. This way, they learn they have the strength to overcome adversity. Tough encounters in sports help young people build resilience that remains with them through adulthood.

Benefits of Participation in Sports Last a Lifetime

`Another benefit of youth participation in sports is that the benefits last for s lifetime. Currently, taking part in youth sports has become a way of life for many families. Engaging in sports needs constant exercise and healthy habits while at home as they are the key to good health. Taking part in sports helps build physical skills and confidence. They also form strong relationships with coaches and teammates. This social support is important as it helps them stay connected to their families and gives them a sense of belonging. The benefits of youth sports participation do not just end when the final buzzer sound. However, young sportspeople tend to bring with them the motivation and discipline gained in sports into their education. During adulthood, people can depend on the resilience gained in sports-related challenges to overcome personal and work hurdles. Youth sports require lots of sacrifices and compromises. Parents can trust that the knowledge their children are gaining has immediate and long-term benefits. The positive outcomes make the hours and miles worthwhile.

Reduced Risk of Substance Abuse

Another benefit of youth sports participation is that it reduces the risk of substance abuse among teenagers. Patterns of drug use in teenagers suggest that sports or any physical activity strengthen the resistance to substance use disorder. According to a survey by the National Institute of Abuse show that high school students that exercise regularly are less likely to abuse marijuana or smoke cigarettes than their counterparts that are inactive. The low risk of substance abuse is attributed to the fact that youths that choose to exercise on a regular basis and enjoy group activities are more likely to make healthy choices in general. Being surrounded by a healthy community of coaches, teammates and other social participation aspects in organized sports helps build a network of support from other people that are making healthy life decisions. Partaking in ports for teenagers and children needs them to master vital time management skills and gives them a range of appealing challenges to overcome. Physical exercise is a chance to offer youth healthy opportunities to take risks, learn skills, and achieve goals.

Counter Arguments

Youth Sports Participation Causes Injuries

Despite the numerous benefits that are associated with youth sports, they are detrimental as they lead to injuries. A report published by the National Institutes of Health (NIH) in 2009, outlines common risk injuries for youth in sports including heat-related injuries, repetitive motion injuries, growth plate injuries, and sprains and strains (McKay, Cumming, & Blake, 2019). Growth plate injuries tend to cause damage to areas that have tissue growth near bone ends in growing children while strains and sprains cause ligament, tendon, and muscle injuries. The NIH recommends researching sports organizations before enrolling children to ensure that its coaches and officials are trained in first aid and CPR to avoid such injuries. They also recommend equipping youth athletes with necessary protective gear. Also, youth athletes are required to stay hydrated and follow the sport’s safety guidelines. While this reasoning is justified and holds true, it does not take away from all the other benefits that come with participating in sports as a youth. One negative attribute should not be a reason to overlook other benefits of youth sports.


Opponents maintain that youth sports participation are detrimental as they cause burnouts. According to a report by Gerald Masterson and James White, competitive sports tend to be stressful on children. Their research indicates that children may suffer burnout, a stress reaction that comes from overtraining and environments that push children to play at all costs. The developers of the report advise parents to avoid putting pressure in their children to specialize in one sport. Instead, they should allow children to take part in different sports that they have interests. Additionally, creating an environment for children that reduces competitiveness aspects in sports and pushes the enjoyable and fun aspects is imperative. While opposers make a valid point, there is no denying that the benefits of youth sports participation outweigh the detriments.

Mental Health Concerns

Another downside of youth sports participation is that causes mental health concerns. In some scenarios, the pressure that comes with being in a competitive sports team and excessive training makes children feel the pressure. According to Jamie Pardinini, a neuropsychologist at Banner Health, the bodies and brains of young people are not fully developed meaning that they might not be in a position to handle the strenuous and competitive nature of playing one sport all year round both physically and mentally. The negative effect of stress on the mental well-being of youths will oftentimes go unaddressed. According to Psychology today, this is the case as youth athletes seek mental health assistance at a lower rather than their inactive counterparts. Worth noting, athletes, go through the same mental health issues as their non-athlete counterparts, and in addition to this, they must deal with stressors linked with sport including sleep deprivation and physical activity. According to Sophomore Emma Weis, a Tinton Falls swimmer, sports can help address mentalities, but if the sport is less about enjoyment and more about competing towards a goal, then it becomes detrimental (Howie, Daniels, & Guagliano, J. 2020). The pressure that comes with performing at this age is associated with mental heal problems such as anxiety and depression. The LA Times report that depression and anxiety levels among young athletes were 20% -45% higher than other youths within the same age group. Additionally, sports injuries can leave young athlete hurt and hence potentially ruin their chances of having a career in the sports which interferes with their mental health. The National Collegiate Athletic Association notes that for some young athletes, psychological response to injury can unmask or trigger serious mental health problems such as anxiety, depression, drug and substance abuse and disordered eating. While opponents are justified in arguing this fact, there is no denying that physical exercise also addresses mental health issues.


In closing, youth sports involvement can be beneficial or detrimental to youth. The benefits of sports participation outweigh which informs the position that youth sports are good for youths. The benefits range from increased physical activity and health, better academic performance, forming social and community bonds, building a foundation for lifelong health, overcoming challenges, reduced risk of drug and substance abuse, and the benefits lasting a lifetime. On the other hand, youth sports are detrimental in the sense that they cause injuries, burnouts and trigger mental health concerns. Despite the negative aspects of youth sports participation, it does not take ways from the fact that the benefits exist. The benefits of young people participating in sports outweigh the negatives which are why parents and guardians should advice their children to cultivate sports. Before pushing a child into a particular sport, it is best to weigh both the drawbacks and benefits that come with it. All in all, one can rarely go wrong with sports. With proper coaching and support from families, youths stand to gain a lot from partaking in sports from an early age of their life.


Anderson-Butcher, D. (2019). Youth sport as a vehicle for social development. Kinesiology Review, 8(3), 180-187.

Howie, E. K., Daniels, B. T., & Guagliano, J. M. (2020). Promoting physical activity through youth sports programs: It’s social. American journal of lifestyle medicine, 14(1), 78-88.

McKay, C. D., Cumming, S. P., & Blake, T. (2019). Youth sport: friend or foe?. Best practice & research Clinical rheumatology, 33(1), 141-157.

Reverdito, R. S., Galatti, L. R., Carvalho, H. M., Scaglia, A. J., Côté, J., Gonçalves, C. E., & Paes, R. R. (2017). Developmental benefits of extracurricular sports participation among Brazilian youth. Perceptual and motor skills, 124(5), 946-960.

Rogol, A. D., Cumming, S. P., & Malina, R. M. (2018). Biobanding: a new paradigm for youth sports and training. Pediatrics, 142(5), e20180423.