SPRINGFIELD, Mo — “Sports bring benefits physically, socially, emotionally, and even spiritually,” said Dr. Paul Thomlinson.
The University of Michigan released a study in April, stating 55 percent of parents believe that their kid’s mental and emotional health…. is worse… than their own childhood.
Many times, they turn to sports to fill the void.
“This is emblematic of a cultural issue that has been taking root for decades now,” said Dr. Paul Thomlinson.
Dr. Paul Thomlinson is a psychologist with Burrell Behavioral Health in Springfield.
“There are definitely some down sides to overemphasizing sports above all things,” said Thomlinson. “Sports are about play, they aren’t professionals yet.”As a result, more than 3.5 million kids under the age of 14 are treated for sports related injuries each year… 70% of children… leave organized sports all together before they reach their teens.
“Anything you do to a kid that pushes them past their ability of emotional coping, is going to raise their risk of being hurt or injured in some way,” said Thomlinson.
“We sometimes take things to a new level,” said Dr Shannon Woods.
Dr. Shannon Woods leads the Sports Medicine Program at Cox Health.
“Things become all about winning. It becomes about how can I make it to the pros. How can I make it to get a college scholarship. All of those things that make sports great for humanity get lost,” said Woods.
“Parents are the role models for their children,” said Woods. “Setting force that idea that this is for fun, this is about participating in something bigger than yourself in this team setting, learning to cooperate with other individuals, learning to make goals and reach goals. That’s what I’d like to see from parents.”
“The most important part is that a parent is clued in to the strengths of their child. You want to make sure they are doing things that play into those strengths, and maximizing those strengths,” said Thomlinson.
“It’s really about the child finding their own path within the loving guidance of the parents watchful eye,” said Thomlinson.