Summary and Response to “Children Need to Play, Not Compete” by Jessica Statsky

and Response to “Children Need to Play, Not Compete” by JessicaStatsky

and Response to “Children Need to Play, Not Compete” by JessicaStatsky


Thearticle, “Children Need to Play, Not Compete” by Statsky Jessicatalks of the negative impacts the competing theory has on children.According to Statsky, the essence of children playing should besolely for their developmental needs and not for the purposes ofcompeting. The idea of placing children in competing games puts themin the same level as adults. They learn that the most important thingin a game is to win. They even feel bad, and develop low self esteemif they lose in a game.

Parentsand coaches put emphasis on competition. When a child is not able toshow competitiveness in a given game, they are dropped out of theteam. Several children as noted by the author are locked out of gamesthat they would otherwise be so yielding if they were given a chance.In addition, even those who stay in the game and continue winning,they tend to drop out by age sixteen since they do not find happinessin these sports. The competing sports appear like a job to thischildren, just like for adult athletes and they lack any fun.Essentially, games for children aged between the ages of six andtwelve years should concentrate on developmental needs of thesechildren and not subjecting them to the competing theory dominant inadult world.


Thesporting activities among children are a common practice in school. Ibelieve that, children are at critical development age in their earlyyears 6-12 years. Like the author, I agree that the form ofactivities that children should engage in should be solely meant toadvance their physical, cognitive and psychological development.However, I disagree with Statsky that competing games are ruiningchildren or are interfering with their development.

Tostart with, children need to learn important skills and attributes asearly as possible. When a child learns that working hard is rewardingand can lead to achievement and celebration, he is able to translatethat into academic as well as future life. Competing sports requirechildren to practice harder in order to compete with others. The samechildren will be able to work for future achievements in life.

Inaddition, children chose sports that they admire. The school or thecoach does not push children into participating into a certainsporting activity. The school offers a broad spectrum of activitiesbe it physical or otherwise including debating clubs, science clubs,green movements, drama clubs among others. With these options,children are able to establish what they would like to do.Personally, I think that children only need to be guided on what todo and what their activities can yield to in the future. Ofnoteworthy is the fact that, sporting activities are not meant tomould children into professional athletes, in fact it’s part ofco-curricular activities meant to enhance child development. AlthoughI agree with the article “Children Need to Play, Not Compete”that coaches sometimes exert a lot of pressure to children to win, itis not always the case. Most coaches training children work at thelevel of these children. They do not expect these children to beprofessional players in the future. I mean, even the coaches haveexperience that majority of the children they train will drop out ofthe sports and do something else. Statistically, only a few becomethe likes of “Michael Jordan, Coby Brian, Usain Bolt, and TigerWoods” or other celebrities. In fact, some of these big names didnot have a background from childhood in the sports that they do, itcould have developed later in their high school years.

Inchildhood, children need to learn various activities. Engaging insports is one of them and well, it is useful in their physicaldevelopment. When there is so much pressure to win, it becomessomething else apart from fun, as Statsky is saying in her article.Even though we put children into sporting activities, it should notbe extreme it should focus more on their development even thoughthere has to be competition in a game. We cannot rule out the factthat, sports have a goal, to win. Nevertheless, children have alwayshad the freedom to do what they want and I do not see anything wrongwith them competing. It teaches them that in life, one must set goalsto achieve. I remember when in my early schooling years, I trieddifferent sports but I did not stick to any. Today, although I am afun of various sports, I cannot necessarily stick to any. Thereforethe idea that the writer is portraying in the current article ofchildren being pushed into sports does not hold. I must however agreewith the author that, losing in sports can sometimes make childrenbecome afraid and lose their esteem, if the parents and teachers seesports as just a competition.