Wednesday, September 3, 2008

Sports And Dedication-What's Too Much?

Following up on the sports-related post from yesterday, I ran across an article today questioning whether or not starting children in intense sports training at an early age is a good idea. Growing up, I had a friend who started learning ballet at a young age in a pre-professional program. Ballet is a physical art that demands a huge time and mental commitment starting at a young age, and by fifth grade she was required to attend classes almost every day. By sixth grade she had quit the program to pursue other interests and spend more time with friends.

With the Olympics still a fresh topic on everyone’s minds, the article mentioned young gymnast Shawn Johnson,who began her gymnastics training at the age of three. Without her early dedication, it’s hard to know if she could have become as talented at the sport as she is today. However, the intense training required of female athletes such as Shawn puts a lot of stress on their growing bodies. Spending so much time on the same physical activity can also get in the way of girls' studies or friendships.

While it’s good to be passionate about something, do you think that you can spend too much time on an activity? In the competitive world of sports, how much is too much? If someone shows potential to excel in a sport, do you think that their parents should still encourage them to pursue other interests? Do you or girls you know feel the need to be perfect or "the best" at something at any cost? Let's talk about it!

No comments: