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“Children Need to Play, Not Compete’” by Jessica Statsky

In, “Children Need to Play, not compete” Jessica Statsky explores trends in the U.S for the last three decades on organized sports for children. She argues that parental pressure and expectations from coaches require children to fulfill their desires rather than that of children. According to her, highly organized sports like Peewee football ball were not children’s standard games. In fact, such games, to her, are more harmful to growing bodies.

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Jessica points out that organized-sports selection criterion for children had denied potential sportsmen or women chances before they were ready to compete. She laments that parents’ and coaches’ desires disregarded children’s interests during play. In fact, parents refused attempts by reformers to ban scoring from sports for the six-eight-year-old children. A close observation of children, she notes, shows children quit playing for fear of injuries which diverted enjoyment from children.

In her argument, Jessica uses Martin Rablovsky’s experience as a sports editor, to confirm that few children enjoyed organized sports. The sports had become job-like as the spirit of play vanished. She asserts that children were not like adults who competed and they had enough time to how to compete in college.


From the foregoing arguments, Jessica condemns organized sports. At this juncture, my point of departure is that the institutions that set the rules and expectations of success are to blame. The family and peers influence parents’ desire for success. For children, expression of their success may be realized through their achievements. On the contrary, the coaches have targets to meet and transfer their pressure to children. In such a scenario who is to blame, the organized sport or the institutions? For instance, mothers who are economic failures in life, their early adult lives are likely to put pressure on their children to succeed in sports. In this situation, a sport as a pathway to economic success may be a means to an end.

Furthermore, organized sports can be revised to meet children’s contexts of soft play. It does not solve anything to scrap the sport which has no bearing on children’s cognitive development. In other words, children’s soft but organized sports can be encouraged, to fully, develop children’s skills of self-esteem and success. Soft organized sports can also serve as an induction to rigorous organized sports. On the contrary, organized sports for children are not harmful since children’s energy equals each other and is not violent.

Jessica’s conception relies highly on the mental conceptualization of aggressiveness when in reality what seems to be aggressive to children is fun. In this analogy, if massive giants were to contest for a coin on the grass, what would one expect to find after they live the scene? What comes to one’s mind is probably destruction, violence, or aggression. The giants will probably be resting after a tiresome but enjoyable play.

Besides, the child environment does not begin from the field. Children come from various backgrounds, which have a bearing on their performance. Children who do not perform may be molested at home, school, or community, and are not likely to perform while playing. Their self-esteem is likely to be below. Various issues shape the child’s cognitive development. When assessing the children out for play, a holistic analysis of issues must be taken into consideration. More still, children who have had chronic diseases would have impeded growth. Their case does not apply to all children.

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Jessica’s generalization that organized games cause fear in children is fallacious. There are children who due to their mother’s consumption of drugs develop poor health. This might have a bearing on child cognition, coordination, and mental development. Jessica disregarded numerous issues that the child experienced while playing.

Finally, competition and success in the globalized world are inevitable. The images of success have to be imparted to the child as early as possible. In fact, shying away from the competition would likely invite failure and disillusionment. The contention here should be right values of competition should be introduced to children. What organized games can do is reassess the values and virtues of competition. This would make children graduate according to age in what can be termed as softer competition.

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StudyCorgi. (2021, December 31). “Children Need to Play, Not Compete’” by Jessica Statsky.

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"“Children Need to Play, Not Compete’” by Jessica Statsky." StudyCorgi, 31 Dec. 2021,

1. StudyCorgi. "“Children Need to Play, Not Compete’” by Jessica Statsky." December 31, 2021.


StudyCorgi. "“Children Need to Play, Not Compete’” by Jessica Statsky." December 31, 2021.


StudyCorgi. 2021. "“Children Need to Play, Not Compete’” by Jessica Statsky." December 31, 2021.


StudyCorgi. (2021) '“Children Need to Play, Not Compete’” by Jessica Statsky'. 31 December.

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