In earlier articles, we discussed the toll that sports has on its many athletes. Whether it be the deterioration of joints or sudden injury, there is no question that sports can be a dangerous game and something that can slow down the process of achieving total health. As a former athlete, I know that sports has definitely hindered my ability to do some things as an adult, but there is hope for the future.
Sports medicine has experienced such technological advances, that it is now possible to get back to the shape of your youth, before the wear and tear of sports took its toll. For example, in the past, it was almost impossible to suffer a back injury and be able to remain active. Now, new techniques are able to cure lower back pain completely, allowing you to become your former self.
More than just pain management
In addition to being able to cure pain, many facilities have even better ways to implement physical therapy. Anybody that has undergone a sports related injury knows that physical therapy is a crucial part of the healing process. Before, throwing out one’s shoulder pretty much guaranteed that they would never throw as hard as they once did.
Now, with the help of revolutionary adult shoulder therapy, it becomes possible to slowly work your way back to your previous splendor. In some cases, patients even reported being able to perform better with the treated shoulder than before the injury. A true testament to the advancement of medical science, and another reason to believe that there is hope for the future even after a sports related injury.
It was once believed that a sports related injury meant the end of a person’s sports career or even live an active lifestyle. With all of the medical advancements in the realm of sports medicine, it is now possible to fully recover from an injury and remain active for years to come. When it comes to sports medicine, there is no substitute for understanding how to treat pain and help rehabilitate people to their former glory.
As someone that lives and breathes sports, I often had a hard time understanding what comes with the concept of a “home team”. Sports are such a wide net of entertainment, each athlete offering humanity so much, that I often get hung up on the idea that every team is everyone’s home team.
Why is it that we are separated by geographical constraints, when we all appreciate the sport. Without an opposing team, the home team would not exist. So why do people’s tempers run so high when it comes to which team someone is rooting for?
The deeper issue
Without getting too philosophical, I believe that the notion of the home team is something we use to create false competition with those around us. We have evolved in such a way that we still do compete with one another for superiority, but it is not in the same primal way in which we are used to.
Sports act as a conduit for this primal emotion, cementing the idea in our head that we (our team) is better than the other team. By doing this, we are able to compete on a healthy level and claim superiority simply by being in a certain geographic area. In essence, we aren’t actually doing anything. Maybe in an indirect way, but when it comes down to it, we have little to do with the performance of the athletes on the field/court/whatever.
So why root for the home team? Because it’s fun. It gives us a group to be apart of. And even though what we do matters little, what we stand for matters a lot.
Anybody that has ever played sports knows about the dedication and work it takes to excel in them. Not only does a person need a good physical fitness and strength, but they also need the mental strength needed to compete with other people at the height of their physical and mental fitness.
Given the amount of work and fortitude that it takes to engage in sports, it becomes difficult to understand when to start paying them. There is no doubt that athletes put themselves on the line every day of their sports career, and at a point, a price must be determined in order to justify that risk.
The debate is that athletes are given an opportunity to pursue their dreams in academia, talking about college sports of course, and that their “payment” is the chance to play on a large stage and potentially become professional. However, there debate lies in how much college sports makes in advertising, merchandise, sponsorships, and other areas of business.
Universities, especially those with good athletic programs, make a great deal of money simply by hosting college sports, but do little in way of actually supplying the entertainment. So what you essentially get is young adults competing against each other for free, while team owners and Universities make a killing off of the proceeds. It is difficult to determine whether college athletes should get paid, and there is a debate to be had on both sides.
Perhaps what colleges can do is split some of the profits.
Football, by all accounts is quite possibly America’s most popular and dangerous sports. The debate is whether the pros outweigh the cons. The extreme impact of numerous collisions over a long period of time has been shown to cause long-term health effects by way of brain contusions, muscle damage, and other ailments.
However, with that said, there is nothing like spending a Sunday with family and friends enjoying rooting for the home team. As it stands now, there is little that can be done by way of protecting athletes from the rigors of the sport. However, what we can do is look into the issue deeper.
Things to consider
Consider the fact that while there is something to be said about the long-term effects of playing football, we can be aware of the problem and help protect players. Some people suggest that a certain level of protection might diminish the nature of the sport. However, it is possible just by learning the dangers, that we can penalize certain actions in order to protect the players.
It is not entirely fair to blame the long-term health effects on the sport itself, but it is fair to say that there is a correlation between the two. Of course, the answer is not easy, but rather something that needs to be looked at from a critical point of view.
Football is one of America’s greatest past times, but also has been shown to cause a number of serious physical ailments. By understanding this, we can start to determine answers to the problems.
In a previous article, we covered the importance and potential problems of competition, especially as it pertains to younger athletes. And no matter which side of the debate you are on, there is an underlying air that competition, at a certain level is almost always a good thing.
In addition to teaching kids that the world is a competitive place, it fosters the idea that there are times at which to compete and times at which cooperation is needed. In some ways, healthy competition is a dichotomy, but one that teaches valuable lessons.
What this all means
In short, competition is something that can be dissected in many ways, but the conclusion is always the same. Competition is a necessary part of life, but there are healthy and unhealthy was in which to engage in competition. Take for example, youth sports.
Children are working together to achieve a common goal, but doing so against another group of children. What this creates is a way in which to gauge the world around, in that competition is necessary, but competing in a healthy manner. However, when competition gets too heated or people lose sight of the overall goal of becoming a closer-knit community, it is time to take a step back.
Competition is good and bad, depending on how you look at it. The way to instill the best values in children while also realizing that the overall goal is a better understanding of others is to engage in healthy competition without putting too much pressure on young minds.
There has been a long and recent debate regarding participation trophies and whether they should or should not be issued to children participating in athletics. The debate essentially revolves around whether the so-called “losers” in sporting contests should be rewarded for their efforts.
Like most social debates, there is no clear answer to whether or not they should be issued, but there are reasons for which to do so. The strongest argument is recognizing the achievements of all participants, not just those that win. A person wiser than myself illustrated that winning is not everything, but others would argue that it is the only thing.
The question deepens
The other side of the argument is whether the achievements of winners should be diminished in any way by the distribution of participation trophies. If you ask my opinion, knowing that everyone did their best should be reward enough. It teaches individuals (especially young children) that there is no shame in losing.
Oftentimes, sports are far too competitive, which can lead to a number of social problems and young athletes developing self-esteem issues. The question then becomes whether self-esteem is more important than winning.
In short, competition requires focus on all angles, and some achievements are factually greater than others. However, what is important is finding the right balance between competition and self-esteem.
Arguments can be made on either side of the topic, but the important thing I think to remember is that we should recognize all achievements, large and small, regardless of who actually ends up winning.
For many sports is just a silly game, similar to Hungry Hungry Hippos. But for others, it is a way of life and pastime that is irreplaceable. For me, sports is a way to connect with others and gauge interpersonal relationships. When I was young growing up in the Midwest, sports was something that was just part of the way we lived.
We supported the local YMCA and sports teams, while also developing our school teams, which led to us winning a number of divisional titles. All of this to say, sports was and still is a large part of my culture and the culture of many others.
Why are sports important?
Sports act not only as a way to define our culture, but also a way to connect with the world around us. Sports teams are healthy hubs for forging long-term friendships and supporting our local community and athletics. Not only do sports help us become closer as communities, but we also engage in healthy competition with our peers.
From a cultural standpoint, sports is the single best way for individuals within a community to come together and root for a common ally. Whether you are rich, poor, from the North or the South, everybody roots for the same team.
Sports is an integral way in which we, as humans interact and connect with those around us. It serves as a healthy outlet for aggression, while also building team work and other important life skills.