Role Models for Kids
May 08, 2023

Are Professional Athletes Positive Role Models for Kids?

Professional athletes are often viewed as positive influences for kids to look up to due to their high-profile status, athleticism, and dedication to their sport. However, the question of whether they make positive role models for children is a controversial one, with arguments on both sides. 

In this article, we will explore the arguments for and against professional athletes as positive role models for kids.

Perspective #1: Professional athletes make positive influences on kids

One argument in favor of professional athletes as positive role models for kids is that they can inspire children to become more physically active and pursue their dreams. 

Seeing someone excel in a sport can motivate young people to get involved in physical activity themselves, which can have numerous benefits for their health and well-being. 

Additionally, athletes who have worked hard to achieve success can be inspiring for kids who are looking to achieve their own goals. This can be especially important for kids who may face barriers to success due to factors like socioeconomic status or discrimination.

Perspective #2: Professional athletes can be negative influences on kids

However, there are also arguments against professional athletes as positive role models for kids. One concern is that some athletes may engage in practices that are not appropriate for children to emulate, such as drug use or violence.

When kids see their favorite athletes engaging in these types of behaviors, it can send the message that such actions are acceptable, which is not a positive lesson to teach. Additionally, some athletes may have personalities or attitudes that are not necessarily desirable for children to emulate, such as arrogance or a lack of sportsmanship.

Another argument against professional athletes as role models for kids is that they may promote an unrealistic view of success. Many professional athletes have reached the pinnacle of their sport through a combination of natural talent and hard work, but for most people, achieving such success is simply not feasible.

When kids are constantly exposed to images of athletes who have achieved incredible levels of success, it can create unrealistic expectations for their own lives. This can lead to feelings of disappointment and failure when they are unable to achieve similar levels of success. A popular children's book by author, Thomas M. Kinslow, 'If I don't go, Pro', touches on this subject by encouraging children to consider other opportunities if sports don't fit their fancy.

So, are professional athletes positive role models for kids?

Despite these concerns, there are steps that can be taken to ensure that professional athletes are positive for kids to look up to. For example, athletes can use their platform to promote positive values and behaviors, such as hard work, dedication, and perseverance. 

They can also speak out against negative behaviors that are not in line with these values. Additionally, sports organizations and sponsors can take steps to ensure that their athletes are held to high standards of behavior both on and off the field.

All in all, the question of whether professional athletes make positive influences for kids is a complex one, with arguments on both sides. While there are concerns about athletes engaging in inappropriate behaviors or promoting unrealistic views of success, there are also ways in which they can inspire and motivate children to pursue their dreams and live healthy, active lives. 

Ultimately, the responsibility for being a positive role model falls on the individual athlete, and it is up to each of them to decide how they want to use their platform to influence the next generation of young people.

Role Models for Kids

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If your children are into sports, or you’re trying to encourage them to be more active, our range of trendy kids’ clothes is perfect for running around and burning off energy. Durable and long-lasting, this novelty tee collection is the perfect addition to your little one’s wardrobe. 

Not only are we passionate about kids being fit and healthy, but we believe every kid needs positive role models, just like Dewey. If you have any questions, we’d love to hear from you.

Team Does fighting childhood obesity since 2006

Hi, Team Does. I get all my sports news and updates from my friend Tommy Ommy, host of Straight from the Basement Sports Podcast. Be sure to follow him wherever you get your podcasts, and check out his YouTube channel for sports news and conversations - Dewey.

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