July 2023

Kids are Quitting Sports Because They Aren't Fun, Are They Supposed To Be?

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In an era marked by shorter attention spans, rising childhood obesity rates, and a decline in sport participation, it's no surprise that sport participation is down.

While some argue that the decrease in sport participation can be attributed to a lack of enjoyment or fun, it is essential to recognize that sports hold a greater significance in life.

It's not about having fun, it's about creating better and more capable human beings.

Are we going to sit by idly and allow ourselves to be consumed by instant gratification and quick fixes, that exploit and harm society?

Compelled sport participation is a solution. Kids are disappearing from the playground because screens are an easy option, but just like gambling and booze, this lifestyle is harmful to our health. We don't do chores because they are fun, we don't go to school because it's fun, we don't go to work because it's fun. Where did this notion that everything must be fun come from?

The importance of sports is much greater beyond the notion of "fun" and highlights the valuable lessons of resilience, effort, and the need for earned achievements. You cannot gain a six-pack while having fun, but the process of gaining a six-pack is a valuable life lesson.

read: Sacrifice vs. Softness: Jokic and Giannis Highlight The Price of Comfort in Gen Z's World

The Era of Short Attention Spans

With the advent of digital technologies and the ever-increasing presence of screens, attention spans have suffered. Children are exposed to a constant influx of fast-paced, easily consumable content that demands immediate gratification. In such a culture, traditional sports, which require focus, perseverance, and sustained effort, can appear less appealing. It's not easy to fight back against the wave of digitally obsessed kids, but just like not eating your veggies these decisions will have greater ramifications later on in life.

Childhood Obesity is on the Rise

Childhood obesity has become a pressing global health concern, directly linked to sedentary lifestyles and a lack of physical activity. While engaging in sports may not always be as instantly gratifying as other forms of entertainment, it offers numerous benefits. Participation in sports can combat obesity, improve physical health, enhance mental well-being, and foster social connections. These long-term advantages outweigh the temporary allure of immediate satisfaction.

Sports were never supposed to be fun, but when being directly compared to the "fun" of playing the newest version of 2k, doing pushups never had a chance. But, PE class was never intended to compare to video games, it was to prepare us for the importance of physical exercise.

By participating in sports, children learn the importance of resilience, determination, and effort. They understand that success is not handed out freely but earned through hard work, practice, and overcoming challenges. These fundamental lessons prepare individuals for the real world, where perseverance and dedication are essential for personal growth and success.

Competition and Skill Development

Sport participation teaches children the value of competition and the pursuit of excellence. It cultivates a drive to continuously improve skills, fostering a growth mindset. This mindset encourages individuals to strive for greatness, setting them up for success not only in sports but also in various aspects of life. By embracing healthy competition and skill development, individuals learn to navigate challenges and realize their full potential.

Beyond "Fun"

While it is crucial to create an enjoyable environment for children to engage in sports, it is equally important to understand that the purpose of sport participation extends beyond mere entertainment. Sports provide an opportunity for personal growth, character development, and the acquisition of lifelong skills. The lessons learned through sports, such as discipline, teamwork, and perseverance, shape individuals into well-rounded and resilient individuals.

Sport participation should not be solely dependent on immediate fun and entertainment value. It is critical to recognize the broader significance of sports in shaping the lives of individuals, particularly children. While attention spans may be diminishing and childhood obesity rates are rising, the importance of sports remains unwavering.

Sports offer a unique, economic resource independent way to teach the importance of effort and resilience, with a reward of improving our health. So please, make your kids play sports. Instead of asking them if they had fun, ask them what they learned, how they've grown, and what they did that exceeded their own expectations.

Issa Hall, Esq

Issa has founded multiple ventures, is an author, and founding partner of Hall & Dixon law firm, with over a decade of experience in tech and law.

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