But the athlete’s constant, social presence makes them an enticing example to watch because they are living the lives to which kids aspire.
Children and older youth already playing in sports are also more likely to consider athletes as role models because they can partly empathize with the athlete’s techniques or competencies. According to The Center for Kids First, there are an estimated 30 million children involved in organized sports per year that athlete roles models can potentially influence.
The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention reports that there is still over 18 percent of children between 6-11years old who are obese.
By watching their favorite athletes, children may be more inspired to go outside and shoot baskets to stay active.
A “role model” is defined as a prominent person whose behavior, habits or accomplishments are copied by others.
The term “role model” was developed in the 1940’s by American Sociologist, Robert K. Merton developed this concept through focus group research that showed that everyday people often compare themselves with notable, public figures when evaluating their own attitudes and values.Americans both young and old, have no problem identifying one or two favorite athletes that have caught their attention as well as their admiration.There is also plenty of debate on whether we should treat athletes as role models and try to copy their behaviors as a roadmap for our own lives.The largest audience for professional athlete role models to influence is young children and teens.Children often rely on many role models to help them figure out how to make their way in this world.As adults, we usually have no problem recognizing negative behaviors in professional athlete role models.What’s obvious to us, may not be obvious to our kids.Today, athletes are not considered to be religious figures but nonetheless are accorded great material wealth, privilege, and fame. Because of their talent, salary, and positions as leaders, it's inevitable that we admire and identify them with such integrity (Ferraro).Courage and determination aren't the only lessons we can learn from successful athletes.Athletes will use confidence as a strategy to outwit their opponents.That’s why athletes are good role models because they can teach you how to believe in yourself as well as those on your team.