Sunday, August 19, 2007

Team Sports

Swimmers...Take Your Mark!

Participation in sports is a wonderful way for young people to learn about their physical abilities, compare themselves to others, observe performance improvement through practice, and learn how to become a contributing member on a team. These discoveries within one's self are enhanced through parental support, good coaches, and encouragement from teammates.

These qualities became clearer and clearer to me as I grew older and lived through stages of development within myself and observed growth and outcomes in others over time. It is interesting to realize how organized sports are designed to improve people in our society as well as to entertain.

As children grow in families, some parents view involvement in sports like swimming, baseball, football, running, cheerleaders and the myriad of other opportunities for young people as a burden, unnecessary, expensive, and difficult to fit into time.

I recently attended a seminar where the reading material presented the concept of "inertia of culture". This concept states that generations become no better than their parents unless the they are exposed to school, books, friends, movies, television, sports, and travel. If a child is exposed to these activities and responds to them appropriately, there should be culture improvement from one generation to the next. Of course, the quality of those activities can vary greatly and effect the outcome.

The pictures here are of my six year old granddaughter participating on a swim team in Chapel Hill, North Carolina. She has learned to compete in swim events of free-style and back stroke. I am amazed at the confidence and growth in this little girl in one year. Many factors go into this type growth such as parenting skills, school, opportunity, and sports involvement.

I hope you will think about the concept of "inertia of culture" and continually weigh your family's participation in sports opportunities so generational advancement becomes more likely.

Have a good week!


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