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Since this is an Olympic year, many people don’t fully understand what goes into making an Olympic athlete. The physical and mental progression from one level to the next, as well as the financial cost to complete the journey from a young hopeful to being recognized as a top-level player, is a lifelong endeavor. For many people, the journey ends quickly. For others, the financial strain is too great. Then there are still others whose physical attributes make it impossible to reach the pinnacle of athletic success.
For elite and professional athletes, players who reach that level of excellence in your sport are rewarded. When we look at the cost of athletics today, we get a startling realization of how much money is actually involved. Another indication of how wealthy our society has become is when we compare spending to 50 years ago. Look at what the New York Yankees did this past year by signing a baseball player to an unprecedented multi-million dollar contract. If the runner is injured and unable to play, he is obligated to pay full wages. This was unheard of 60 years ago.
We should all remember that 60 years ago many young people were playing minor league baseball and Pop Warner football. I remember myself playing baseball rain or shine every Saturday. I had a four finger leather baseball glove that my dad bought me and I think that was the only thing we spent on playing ball. When I entered high school, my parents did not have to pay any extra fees for me to compete in interscholastic sports, whether it was cross-country, swimming, or track. Our school uniforms, warm ups, and transportation to and from meetings were all covered by the school district. Just think that 60 years ago there was no real financial handicap preventing our parents from participating in interscholastic sports. This is not the case today. Cuts in school budgets have been at the forefront of debate in school districts across the country, as many athletic programs have been eliminated or fees to participate are worrisome. When the cost of participating in interscholastic sports increases, many hopefuls are denied the opportunity to do so because many parents do not have the extra financial means to get their children involved in school activities.
Going back to my college years, how lucky I was to participate in intercollegiate sports, but with a partial sports scholarship that cost me. We must remember that the tuition fees in state school universities were relatively low compared to today. All in all, the cost of pursuing an athletic career was far less expensive than it is today. So much so that athletes today spend more on high-tech equipment to record and enhance their performance. All we had during the cross-country and track seasons were stopwatches.
Today, when money is involved, behavior has gradually disintegrated. During my long athletic and professional career I observed a decline in personal and professional behavior in many professional athletes. The professionalism and camaraderie of the 50s, 60s and early 70s gave way to a self-absorbed, self-serving, self-gratifying and self-profiting ideology where individuals sought financial compensation and selflessness without the least regard for their fellow workers. is consumed. , competitors and fans. The sense of camaraderie that was once the main motivation for being an athlete has been lost.
What has changed is playing “for the love of the game” where players in all professional sports and the majority of college sports have adopted a self service philosophy. Regardless of when and where they play for the exorbitant amount of money they are offered for professionalism, respect for every player, fan and general public has diminished to such an extent that players now expect respect, attention and publicity. should be provided to them. It is not because of their ability, the respect of players, coaches and fans, but because of the money they get. More often than not, it is no longer demonstrated whether or not they actually produce the professionalism that must be displayed when a person reaches that level of athletics.
I remember the first time I participated in an athletic event. The excitement, enthusiasm and respect I had for myself, my coaches and the other competitors made me realize that just being able to compete was an incredible experience. Whether I won or came last was not the main focus. My coaches understand that winning is not the most important thing, but just competing is being able to strive to do the best you can. Sure, everyone likes to win, but whether you lose or come in second, you’re successful because you tried, and that’s winning.
Today, many high school and collegiate athletes are enticed by the prospect of lucrative professional sports contracts. Many succumb to the temptation to forego a college career or hold off on completing a degree and opt for a professional contract only to find that once their career ends or an injury prevents them from competing, they have little qualification left to begin a career. outside of the game.
Most of these individuals are mentally, emotionally and academically incapable of understanding the extent of responsibilities involved in professional sports contracts. What has happened in professional sports today is that they have actually encouraged the kind of behavior that is most unprofessional by the athletes themselves. I am not saying that all professional athletes are caught up in this type of behavior but the media has constantly exploited certain individuals where the general public encourages student and professional athletes to engage in the most unprofessional behavior.
“For sport or love of sport! That time is not far away. The days when players and sportsmen actually play and compete for the joy of the sport and not for how much money is or will be paid. The ultimate goal is to win the professional sports world. The key here is the recruitment of the talent of the players. To do is to show excellence when they actually play or compete.To always perform at their best they create a winning effect which is very important in today’s professional sports.
Today’s aspiring young athletes must be taught patience and resist the temptation to forego education in pursuit of lucrative contracts that are in reality a short-sighted and misguided attempt to disrupt one’s life process. It’s really important that students and student athletes are held accountable for their behavior on and off the field of play when they participate in their respective sports. They should show a level of personal respect and show courtesy, respect and genuine association with everyone.
Is it any wonder that physical education and many other culturally beneficial activities continue to be lacking in many schools in the elementary and secondary school systems, or that today’s students and young aspiring athletes find it so difficult to have equal access to programs that are considered sustainable? Educational experience only 60 years ago? Until schools across the country recognize the importance of athletics and the arts in their educational experience and find ways to prevent families and individuals with disabilities from participating, many promising athletes, musicians or stage performers will be denied opportunities because these programs are too expensive. to reach their full potential. The net result is one reason our society has moved away from the moral values of the time. A very sad commentary for today.
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