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Should You As Parent Encourage Your Child To Play Dangerous Sports?
Should you encourage your child to take up dangerous sports with the goal of becoming a professional athlete and making money sailing? De la chanson or depends on the child, parents, talent, motivation and opportunity. If you ask this parent of four, the answer is “no”. I will explain my rationale further later. For starters, a warning: sports, like any other business, has an exploitative underbelly that few see or want to see. It is prudent to act because post-injury advice is like post-mortem medicine.
There are skills that can be used in different sports: teamwork, persistence, determination, winning and persistent habits. In addition, exercise can be beneficial for one’s health.
Obesity is a global health problem and its consequences are well known. Some of the consequences are high blood pressure, type II diabetes, heart disease, lack of sleep, arthritis, various cancers, to name a few. not a few. But don’t tell that to many Nigerians (especially Africans in general) who believe that being fat is something glorious, a status symbol, a proof of good life and wealth. Being physically active throughout one’s life is a worthwhile habit that promotes the quantity and quality of life, according to health experts.
However, there is a big divide between playing sports for fun and playing them professionally. No sport is without risk but some are more dangerous than others. The cost of joining a professional athlete’s club can be prohibitive; true, it might not be worth it.
In my 20s I loved watching boxing. Sugar Ray and Thomas “Hitman” Hearns II fight comes to mind. Marvin Hagler, Larry Holmes, Michael Spinks, Mike Tyson, the second coming of George Foreman is my favorite. I watched those fights whenever I could. At a 1987 Pay-View event in Oakland, California, I happened to be sitting next to a former boxer. As we left the venue after the exciting fight, he made a statement that stuck in my mind as a spectator begged for the millions the fighters had won. He said, “These fighters will pay a lot of money for the rest of their lives because of the shots they got today.” He continued by saying, “All the millions he gets now will not be enough to heal a lifetime of pain and suffering.”
In retrospect, his words were somewhat prophetic because the effects of concussions, blows to the head, performance-enhancing drugs, Parkinson’s disease, loss of consciousness were not well known at the time. memory and speech problems. Some of the sports we send our children to today are also dangerous, don’t let fame, money, fame and medical advances fool us. Remember that beef comes from cows or as the Igbos say “Suya ahu si n’ahu nama”!
Seeing the big money and popularity of these sports, it was only a matter of time before Nigerian parents and/or our children started pursuing these sports. Some may want to reap the obvious benefits without seeing the hidden pitfalls. These parents and children should stick to this quote of Einstein: “learn the rules of the game [first]. And then you have to play it better [on and off the court] because of other people”.
I must dedicate a paragraph and pay tribute to Nigerians, and in my work, the world’s sporting heroes. Dick Tiger, Christian Okoye, Hakeem Olajuwon, and today’s professional players set shining examples on and off the stage. They remain the beacon of everything about Nigeria and Nigerians. When was the last time you heard something negative about these superheroes? Through their actions they continue to tarnish the image of our Country even as corrupt politicians and 419ers tend to tarnish its image worldwide. Like grateful Nigerians everywhere, I salute these green heroes.
Are these reasons enough to allow your child to engage in dangerous sports?
I hope Nigerian parents both at home and especially abroad do not force their children to join these sports to earn money. Some may want to put a myth out there and end up exposing themselves and their children to hidden dangers. According to one sports writer, “people doubt Nigerian players; they are soft, not very tough and very educated”. That’s a loaded statement! Trying to “prove it wrong” can pay dearly. You may remember Loyola Marymount basketball star Eric “Hank” Gathers who died on the court in 1990 during a televised game. He was diagnosed with a heart attack but continued to play without taking medication that made him too drowsy to perform his star quality.
All sports have inherent risks. As the Italians say, “ogni rosa ha le sue spine” or “every rose has its thorn”. I like to ride a bike. Many cyclists are injured and even killed while cycling. Just 3 weeks ago, here in Austin, Texas, a cyclist pushing his disabled bike was killed by a careless driver less than 10 miles from my home. Did you know that girls’ soccer players hold the second highest number of hits, after American football players? Let’s take a look at it.
However, some sports are like cigarettes: they are dangerous when played as prescribed. Some of the injuries are cumulative since childhood (elementary and middle school) and the effects are not fully felt until the playing days are over.
The chances of him becoming a professional are very small. As a friend who used to do these sports told me, “people only see the few who jump over the hill. The few who make it to the pros end up into a painful life when their injuries start to show and when their insurance benefits are no longer available. They spend money quickly because of poor financial management. Like too many Nigerians they refuse to have a retirement plan. -milk, these athletes think they will always be money. Those who help you spend your wealth will not be there for you when you need it. Awakening, then, can only bury one when the other dies, it will not revive the living.
I am not encouraging you or your children to give up sports for fun or professionally. I don’t discriminate between any sport. As I said, every rose has its thorn; no sport is without risk. We recommend that you do your own research before committing your family to any sport. If you still feel that the sport is for your child and that he has the means to become a one in a million winner, then go for it. I wish your family the best. Note that all the glitters are copper, not gold.
Ask yourself these questions:
Why do so few pro-player offspring follow in their parents’ footsteps? Did the genes that propelled their parents to stardom suddenly “go astray”?
Why don’t team owners, coaches, team doctors, use their great power to get their kids to play these obvious sports? Other companies, including the plaintiff, train their children in family businesses, why not dangerous sports players? Could they be because of the truth or, compared to Ben Franklin, society writes wounds in dust and benefits in marble?
Is sports the only way to get a college scholarship? Academic scholarships are better than most sports scholarships. The former has more degrees than the latter. Reading will not give you the injuries mentioned above.
If you don’t know a former professional player in a sport that your child might be interested in, find someone to talk to on Google or Facebook. They are easy to find and you will find them willing to help you. Listen sincerely to what he tells you; don’t take it as a comment from a former player. That’s what I did years ago before my kids were big enough to play popular American sports. As a proactive step, I started discouraging my son from playing football. I was shocked when my student told me that he was asked to try out for his school team.
My wife and our children were the first to rejoice at the news. I went to great lengths to get him out of the football game. When he refused to back down, I blessed him but told him that I would not go to any games. They said he was very good. He convinced his mother to go to one of the games. I have to inject here because he is in the medical field. After watching the game live and hearing the sounds of the battle… I mean the favorite on the field that day, he came home with me to stop our children from playing this sport. The sound of the hits was different from what he heard at football games on TV. My response is that if he thought high school players hit hard, he can imagine what it’s like to hit high school and college players, not to mention professional players. I can’t stand watching my kids play football, I can’t stand it. Call me chicken!
After that first year of soccer, our son happily announced that he was quitting the sport. I asked why, he said that none of his team members were in the Advance Placement class, in fact, most of them were not doing well in school. , including missing classes due to injury and/or athletic interference. This is what is happening in Africa and elsewhere. Some excel in sports and academics.
Fortunately, my son was not injured and his grades are still high. He talked about other football players’ serious injuries, how they were encouraged to eat and lift more weight to get bigger, stronger and hit harder and run faster. He talked about the use of inferior equipment and the pressure to play for a college scholarship and the future. Academics, practice and winning games are not a priority! Finally, he said that he saw that we were looking out for his best interests both now and in the future. He felt that we did it with love and affection. And we can live with it!
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