Academic journal article The Journal of Educational Research

Perceptual Posture of Stakeholders: Efficacy of Sports in Curbing Violent Behaviors among Youth

Academic journal article The Journal of Educational Research

Perceptual Posture of Stakeholders: Efficacy of Sports in Curbing Violent Behaviors among Youth

Article excerpt

Introduction

Sports may be defined as "all forms of physical activities that contribute to physical fitness, mental well-being and social interaction, such as play, recreation, organized or competitive sport, and indigenous sports and games." (UNIATFSDP, 2003).

Sports and physical activities are excellent vehicles for socialization and best sources for social development of youth. Sport is considered to be a very valuable institution that helps the players learn numerous qualities that help them lead a successful practical life. Traits like leadership, moral character, and perseverance can be developed through participation in sports (Butcher, 1979). Violent behavior is a social problem and it is clear evidence of positive impact of sports on behavior. It is believed that sports activities within community reduce the crime rate and anti-social behavior among youth (Canadian Centre for Ethics in Sports, 2002). In a review of related literature, it is argued that sports develop the character, morality and positive values among youth such as good behavior, social relations between individuals and groups, hard work, sportsmanship and sense of fair play. The authors further argue that sports itself do not build and develop character in youth but create such positive traits among participants which are helpful in developing character and morality in youth (Ewing et al., 2002). An analysis of youth activities found that sports build character, develop physical skills and self-knowledge (Hansen et al., 2003). A study affirmed that through sports children and youth learn sportsmanship, morality and fair play. Sports can build and develop character of the children and youth. It is a powerful social experience (President's Council on Physical Fitness and Sport, 2006). Through participation in sports children and youth learn moral and ethical behavior. Sport is a tool for citizenship and cooperation. There is clear evidence that sports coaches play an important role in developing ethical and moral behavior among young players. Children and youth, who participate in sports, learn moral values and good behavior directly and indirectly. Through coaches' instruction and engagement in sports they learn moral values and good behavior directly while through observing the coaches' responses, they learn moral values and good behavior indirectly (Ewing et al., 2002).

In his study Cigliano (2006) stated that the officials of sports consider "discipline" among one of the behavioral attitudes that the participants learn through sports. It has been observed that the discipline players and athletes learn through sports participation gradually becomes a component of their behavioral conduct in their daily lives (National Federation of High Schools Association, 2003). Respect is another feature of the behavioral conduct that players and athletes learn through sports participation. Davis (2002) said that gatherings and frequent social interaction through sports participation enhance the sociability of the players and improve the abilities of respecting feelings of the others. In a survey study held in Canada the respondents considered tremendous contribution of sports activities in developing many behavioral traits such as honesty, fair play and respect. According to the respondents of this survey "participation in sports develops fair play skills such as respecting teammates, opponent's players, judges, umpires, referees, and accepting official decisions with grace and dignity" (Butcher & Schneider, 2003). Rasmussen, (1999) asserted that through participation in sports players and athletes learn life skills such as respect for authority, honesty and conflict resolution. Conference Board of Canada conducted a survey on the "Socio-economic benefits of Sports in Canada". Respondents of this survey stated that through sports participants learn problem solving skills, administrative skills, personal management, teamwork, decision making, leadership and communication. …

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