Guest opinion: We should encourage girls to play sports

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  • What in Tucket Provo, UT
    Aug. 23, 2018 10:18 a.m.

    As a boy I played a lot of sand lot stuff, but I was never an athlete to play on a high school team. My neighbor boy dropped 4 points on his ACT and his grades declined after a concussion playing basketball with bigger kids. Studies show soccer has as many concussions as football and worse in girls. So be careful before you send your child to sports.
    That is not to say I don't love a physically fit girl or boy.

  • NoNamesAccepted St. George, UT
    Aug. 21, 2018 8:54 p.m.

    Frankly, I think we need to de-emphasize sports in society in general.

    At one time, sports were a gentlemanly endeavor to promote teamwork and physical health. Today, most all sports are hyper competitive to an unhealthy level, require an undue amount of time and money, and too often result in lifelong injuries. Public schools and taxpayer colleges devote massive amounts of limited resources to sports. Those who perform well in sports are too often given a pass in the classroom or even for criminal conduct.

    If we would move away from inter-scholastic and inter-collegiate semi-pro sports to an all access, intra-mural paradigm, sports might regain their former benefits.

    Until then, I think the benefits of teamwork and leadership are more readily available to far more, at much lower risk/cost via music, academic competition, scouting, and other activities.

    That all said, girls and boys should be provided opportunities to participate in whatever wholesome activities they like. Some will choose sports, others will choose something different. Nothing wrong either boys or girls not being interested in competitive, team athletics.

  • HSTucker Salt Lake City, UT
    Aug. 21, 2018 5:36 p.m.

    Overall, a very good article. I only question one small portion.

    "Research shows that at every age (children, teens and adults) males are more likely than females to see themselves as leaders."

    Well of course they do. Dr. Madsen, surely you're not arguing that these differences are unrelated to biology? Dominance behavior is baked into our genome and it differs between men and women.

    If you want to argue the value of sports and leadership ability notwithstanding biology, that's perfectly reasonable, but please don't imply that in our "ideal" state men and women are the same. We aren't.

  • 2 bits Cottonwood Heights, UT
    Aug. 21, 2018 8:28 a.m.

    RE: "We should encourage girls to play sports"...
    I believe we should encourage girls to play sports, or to NOT play sports, whichever they choose. We should just encourage them, whether they decide to play sports or not.

    I know some families that belittle their girls if they don't choose to play sports. Then they compare one girl to another if they DO decide to play sports. That's not good for some girls. Not all girls are the same. And the same goes for boys BTW.

  • UtahBlueDevil Alpine, UT
    Aug. 21, 2018 7:17 a.m.

    Very good story here. Girls in their developmental years have far fewer opportunities to learn "teamwork". It is getting better, but still not the same. Learning how to work as a team, to do your best, even when you know you likely will not win, reinforces the character of being strong regardless of the circumstances.

    In particular in the "field" we are seeing the difference between boys and girls in their ability to tough through hard times and fulfill their commitments. It shouldn't be so... but it is. Sports is one way young ladies can learn these attributes.