Today when I walk the streets of San Jose, I see more children zoned in on their electronic devices and less on a court.

According to The Aspen Institute Project Play, “Physical activity can affect attitudes and academic behavior, including enhanced concentration, attention and improved classroom behavior.”

I grew up in a strict no-video games household. Where 15 minutes of playing PlayStation was equivalent to playing video games for two hours, according to

my dad. 

My dad didn’t understand why my sister and I would want to stay indoors when we were fortunate to have a pool in the backyard and a basketball hoop in the front yard.

I remember that I’d get frustrated with my parents because I wanted to play my Pokémon video game and they wouldn’t let me. 

Instead, my parents enrolled me in whatever sport was in season. 

I always played a sport and during the summer when there was downtime, I was in a pool or playing outside with the other kids in my neighborhood. My sister and I were busy kids.

At the age of 8, I started to play travel softball and during that time I was sometimes enrolled in two sports at the same time.

I understand why my parents kept my sister and I busy and I am glad that I didn’t spend my childhood years with my eyes glued to a screen.

Sports have been the basis of my existence. Without it, I don’t think I would be the same person I am today. 

I don’t think I would have the determination, social skills or focus I have if it weren’t for sports.

According to a BMC Public Health study, being involved in at least one activity was found to be significantly associated with higher life satisfaction and self-rated health.

Sports taught me the reality of failure, but it also taught me how to try again. Being on a team trained me to be the best I could be.

It also taught me that I needed to execute the plays in order to help

my team. 

If one of my teammates was down, I needed to help them get back up on their feet. 

If I was down, my teammates were there to help me. My teammates were my support and I was theirs.

This is the type of thinking I still have for my school work and when I write for the Spartan Daily.

According to the YMCA website, sports provide children with the opportunity to develop social and collaborative skills as they learn to interact with peers and navigate relationships in a safe and

engaging manner.

My professors, bosses, fellow staff writers and family all hold expectations for me to do my best. 

Though I am the one who ultimately decides if I fail or not, I also do my best to not let them down and to prove others wrong.

When my peers tell me that they never played a team sport while growing up, I’m puzzled. I wonder if they had a childhood or if they sat in front of a screen all their lives.

When I was exposed to the truth, that not everyone participated in sports growing up, it gobsmacked me because I grew up in a small town where everyone played a sport.

Then I thought about the kids, specifically the ones who live in large cities, who are currently growing up in a world navigated by technology. 

For this reason, I feel the need for human interaction is at an all-time high. 

I understand that technology is helping children learn and that video games help exercise parts of the brain but there are some things that technology can’t teach.

My experience with sports convinced me that children ranging from 6 to 10 years old should be enrolled in team sports. 

Team sports gives children the ultimate exposure to other kids, activities

and experiences.

(1) comment


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