Should Every Player Receive Participation Trophies

Today’s youth organizations are signing up kids for sports, they play a full season, and every player in the end gets a participation trophy. Is this ruining kids for the future? In my opinion, I believe there is an age where participation trophies are acceptable, which is up to fifth grade. After that, I believe that participation should be acknowledged, but with a high five, or a pat on the back. Trophies should be something that is earned through hard work and dedication. There would be no need for having skills if everyone just got a trophy anyway.

As a kid I would keep every first place medal or ribbon, and throw out second and beyond. My parents thought this was a crazy practice and that I put too much emphasis on winning. I think that every good thing should be recognized, but trophies never meant all that much to me. I won State Cross Country and got a gold medal. I lost my gold medal because we totaled our van by hitting a deer that night, and I lost it forever. My coach asked if they wanted to order me a new one but I said no. The moral of the story is trophies are not the biggest part of a victory. People know you did well and that is what matters. The same goes with participation trophies. People know you participated, so why do you need a trophy for it?

The New York Times had a good quote on the topic when they stated that “It’s through failure and mistakes that we learn the most. We must focus on process and progress, not results and rewards.” So if we never fail by giving kids trophies, how do we learn? This is a strong lesson everyone should learn for life.

PhsycologyToday.com says  “we’re more committed to an activity when we do it out of passion, rather than an external reward such as a trophy.” This a good point. If we do not do a sport out of passion and just for a trophy, what is the point? what happened to just playing a sport for the fun of it.

NY Times

PsychologyToday

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Is Sportsmanship Important?

From a very young age to adulthood, we are taught to have sportsmanship in sports. Should this be taught at an early age or should it be taken out of the game? In my opinion it is a vital part of the game, but it is not fully exclusive to all age groups. I believe that it is good to have a base for learning sportsmanship at a young age but less important such as in the NFL or NBA because at this level, it is more about the fans than the players.

First off, what is sportsmanship? kidshealth.org defines sportsmanship as four different things. Sportsmanship is playing fair, following the rules of the game, respecting the judgment of referees and officials, and treating opponents with respect. Playing fair is important but there are always different aspects that give people an edge in sports (that are within the confines of the rules). Playing fair is again for younger ages, but getting older you get to pick your team so you do not have to play fair, leagues play the best. Respecting the judgement of officials and judges should be a quality that every player should have at all levels. Sometimes referees get a few calls wrong, but the more you complain, the more they will target you. Always follow the rules of the game, that should be standard at all levels. The last is treating opponents with respect. This does not always apply because it was very fun to watch Dennis Rodman in his prime. He did not treat everyone with respect, but that is part of the game.

Sportsmanship is important at all levels, but can make the game more fun if there is a rivalry where two teams hate each other. Fans should stay out of the game, as they are there to cheer. Referees and judges should be respected at all levels. There is no one term fits all for sportsmanship.

http://www.stanfordchildrens.org/en/topic/default?id=teaching-children-good-sportsmanship-1-4524

http://kidshealth.org/en/teens/sportsmanship.html

Should Players Have to Stand for the National Anthem?

Players of sports, specifically in the National Football League are increasingly starting to kneel during the national anthem as a sign of protest against the social issues in the United States. Is this justified? In my opinion it is definitely justified and this is their right as an American.

The first reason I believe that players should be able to kneel during the national anthem is because it is their right under the first amendment. The first amendment states that as an American citizen one is allowed to peaceably assemble or in other words protest if it is peaceful. There is so many other options that are more harmful and more violent than kneeling during the national anthem. If anything the backlash for seeing people kneel was more violent in some cases than the actual protest.

The second reason  I believe that players should be able to kneel during the national anthem is because just because they are national figures does not mean that they do not have an opinion. They are American citizens as well but many do not think they should have an opinion as a professional athlete. I think it is great that they are using their platform for something other than tossing a football or basketball or any other ball around.

The last reason I believe that athletes should be able to kneel during the national anthem is that when people think that something is wrong in our country, they have a right to try to bring light to it. That is why Americans of today broke off from the British, because they were not being treated right. There has been a history of oppression in our country. Not every cop is bad towards African Americans nor is every cop good which is what this whole protest was about. In my opinion it is not only African Americans that are oppressed but gay people, other nationalities, women and many other groups that should be represented in the protest. There are many alternatives that could have been far worse, plus Colin Kappernick, who started all the protests donates to charities and donates his time, so he is not one of the people causing trouble, but rather standing (kneeling) for social injustices in our country.

procon.org

NPR.org

NCAA Drug Testing Policies

The National Collegiate Athletic Association has policies in place for testing college athletics for both performance enhancing drugs as well as street drugs. There are many policies that are ambiguous in nature in these policies.

One thing that sticks out in my mind is the fact that dietary supplements could involve a banned substance within them. The problem is, the label will not always tell you these drugs that are banned, and an athlete could test positive, and lose one full year of eligibility. Street drugs, if have a positive result, could result in 50% in loss of season which could be the first or second half.

To me, the testing for marijuana and other street drugs is an outdated concept since it is legal in four states and medically legal in many other states. The tests are not all that random with each athlete knowing from their coach ahead of time that they may be tested in the future. They are very rare. The other time that athletes are tested are at championship events.

Drug testing can slow the use of drug use on college campuses among athletes but not to the full effect. To rid NCAA athletes of using drugs they would randomly select all athletes at different times. This is a large sum of money for the drug tests, and with each school having different rules, not every time would an athlete be out for even taking the drugs.

An article by Orlando Sentinel outlines that the NCAA is debating on whether to continue with the testing of drugs that are not performance enhancing or if they will continue. This issue has been talked about since 2012 since the onsets of legalization of marijuana in states. Financially and ethically this no longer makes sense to test for street drugs besides the fact that the NCAA wants to protect athletes from the harmful side-affects of drugs.

http://www.ncaa.org/health-and-safety/policy/frequently-asked-questions-about-drug-testing

http://www.orlandosentinel.com/sports/os-marijuana-football-changes-20151018-story.html

 

What Sport Should Be Added To Chadron State College?

I believe that college soccer, specifically women’s soccer, should be added to the sports at Chadron State College. There are still more men than women athletes so this would make the difference a little bit more fair, and add a sport that is on the rise in America. It might take a few years for this sport to earn some money back for the school as it gains popularity, but I truly do believe it would gain popularity.

Soccer, in general around the world is a sport that has been played for several hundred years and is the most popular sport in most of the world. The world cup is an event that is watched even more than the super bowl. The United States is a fairly new country in terms of industrialization and its origins in sports is fairly new compared to countries who have been around for several hundred years. We are somewhat still trying to figure out soccer. This makes this sport on the rise because America strives to be the best in everything. Adding soccer to the regimen at Chadron State College would only increase attendance, diversify the student population, and give more students a chance at an athletic scholarship to pay for schooling.

Not including Divison III schools that do not offer a scholarship, there are over 900 schools that offer scholarships currently to athletes who play soccer. This is a big market for students looking for somewhere to play, therefore increasing the number of potential schools to play. The only worry might be getting extra funding for travel and games. (gocollege.com)

gocollege.com

Should Daily Fantasy Sports Be Legal?

Daily fantasy sports is a place where you are allowed to pick a lineup and bet money on them, in order for a cash prize if you are the best lineup. I believe daily fantasy sports and all sports betting should be legal. First off, it is your own money, you may do what you want with it. There is little chance of winning and the people that do win do not win as much profit as the sites hosting.

Two of the large companies that host daily fantasy sports are DraftKings and FanDuel. These two companies defended their daily fantasy sports leagues as “perfectly legal games of skill” (pbs.org). I agree with this statement. There is an element of luck, but there is more importance on skill, as stats tell a large portion of how a player would do on a weekly basis, compared to just drafting someone with very poor stats. What you get is usually going to be a product of knowing skill, and betting money on this skill.

There is also no uniformity in what states allow daily fantasy sports to be legal and which do not. New York for example does not allow gambling, yet offer it in ways that do not fully count as gamble but certainly are. Daily fantasy sports needs to be regulated in the amount of money that can be spent and make it uniform that either all or no states have it, because it is a tricky situation knowing which states allow it and which do not. (newyorker.com).

pbs.org

newyorker.com

College Before NBA or NFL?

There was a time that athletes were not required to go to any college before going to the National Basketball League or the National Football League. There is much debate on whether or not athletes should be allowed to the pros straight out of high school. My personal opinion is that they should have to go to college for at least one year before playing at the elite pro level.

The first reason I believe that athletes should have to attend college before going into the pros is they do not necessarily have the work ethic mixed with how much longer and faster the game is at the pro level compared to high school. I am a college athlete now. I run 75-90 miles a week. This was a huge adjustment from high school to college running. I could not imagine going pro and seeing my time get blown out of the water by pro runners, whereas I could get substantially better by racing against times that are somewhat similar to mine.

The same goes with football and basketball. Anyone can be a big shot in high school because kids bodies are not matured yet. They get into the NBA out of high school and they have to play 28 more minutes per game, and probably 40 more games per season. This is a drastic change. For the NFL the minutes change from 32 minutes to hour long games as well. The players are bigger, faster, and more athletic because no human man develops fully at age 18. ESPN.com when I say that there is sort of a shell shocked sort of feeling when transforming from high school to the NFL or NBA.

Besides overall maturity physically, there is overall maturity mentally that needs to happen. The human male is not fully developed in their brain until 23 in some cases. This means they are taking bigger blows to the head in the NFL which decreases their lifespan, proven after recent discoveries of CTE. You should get the degree first, and if the NFL or NBA does not work out, you have a fallback. After all, injuries happen and not everyone is cut out for the pros like they think they are. Bleacherreport.com agrees with me in that there is some growing up to do in players coming out of high school. College students are broke, but this teaches them maturity. Going from “rags to riches too quickly and these athletes may not know what to do with their money.”

Overall, athletes need to mature physically and mentally for a couple years in college before going pro.

ESPN.COM

bleacher report