Kids in combat sports: Is it safe In 2023?
Sport is part of our culture. There’s no getting away from that, even if you wanted to. Millions of citizens enjoy watching their favorite sports, competitions, teams, and athletes at the stadium or live on television. Everywhere you look, there are references to sports, sports stars, and the latest news from the most famous teams.
With the introduction of online sports betting in many states across America, things have moved up a notch. The leading gambling apps are advertised in sports arenas, on TV, and on team uniforms. The most successful apps promote themselves as the best online sportsbook, with the most generous odds and best markets.
The future’s bright
There has been a spike in the number of wagers placed on professional sporting events, including the Super Bowl, World Series, and English Premier League. Sports in the US will never be the same again. As well as allowing fans to make predictions and place bets, the extra cash brought in by betting is already being invested in sports at a grassroots level. Teams are building for the future, and it’s looking bright.
More funds are available to invest in the talent of tomorrow than we’ve seen in the past. That’s great news for kids with dreams of playing pro. The benefits are already evident across the board, with a new generation of players benefiting from the best equipment, including technology that tracks performance and improvement.
The health benefits of playing sports are well-documented. But should you allow your children to participate in sports in their early and teenage years? Some parents are reluctant, knowing that injuries caused by playing contact sports can be severe, staying with the player throughout their lives and causing pain and discomfort as they age.
Combat sports – yes or no?
One area where parents are apprehensive concerns combat sports. Is it wise to allow kids to participate in boxing, MMA, BJJ, karate, Thai boxing, judo, and the like? The medical evidence against youngsters competing in these sports is damning, but does it tell the whole story?
Should children be guarded against combat sports until they are teenagers? Let’s take a closer look at some pros and cons, using boxing as our example. The ancient noble art is the most popular combat sport with children. It has been around long enough that scientists, medical professionals, and researchers have had the chance to make reliable studies on the potential harm.
Below we flag up some of the most obvious pros and cons of allowing your children to visit a boxing gym and consider competing at the junior amateur level while in school.
Dangers of boxing
We are now seeing case studies and concrete evidence that the impact on the head caused by boxing can have long-term effects on the brain. This has been known for quite some time, but efforts are now focused on limiting the danger.
Amateur boxing organizations worldwide require junior boxers to wear protective headgear when sparring and competing. This measure has enjoyed great results, but the requirement to wear protection around the head stops at 16 for many boxers. It then becomes their choice.
This has been controversial, but the decision hasn’t been taken lightly. Studies show when developing, young boxers need protection against the effects of head trauma. But when boxing at an elite level, head guards can cause injury, such as cuts which could drastically reduce the length of a boxer’s career.
Cuts around the eyes and face almost always reappear in later fights and cause an early stoppage. Allowing young adults to decide on head guards is the best and fairest way to keep boxers safe. Head guards aren’t permitted at the professional level, but in most nations, fighters turn professional in their 20s. By then, they will have years of experience competing without head protection.
Benefits of boxing
Supporters of the fight game believe its benefits far outweigh the dangers. Boxing teaches children many qualities that will stand them in good stead for adulthood. It’s not just about learning self-defense.
Boxing teaches control, with a child trained in combat sports more likely to avoid confrontation outside the ring. Quiet confidence and respect come from knowing what you can do, thanks to boxing.
The health benefits also shouldn’t be taken lightly. Regular boxing promotes a healthy lifestyle and diet. It increases fitness, builds muscle, and helps shed unhealthy weight.
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Kids in combat sports: Is it safe?