Americans are seen as great sport fans, many thriving on being associated with a particular winning team. Explain this phenomenon and discuss the media attention that surrounds high school teams during certain competitions. The ethic used in American sport is the win ethic. In other words, if you are not winning, you are not only a loser in sport, but also a loser in society. Because of this, Americans rank sport very highly in their every day lives. From an early age, you are usually taken to matches, and games, and many people grow up with a team they support, along with their family.
Whereas in the past sport came within physical education departments, in American high schools today it has its own department: the Athletic department. Coaches instead of teachers are employed, with the clear intention of creating a successful athletic programme – in other words, winning teams. Sport in American High Schools is driven by the culture within which it exists – namely one of winners. Schools obtain a great deal of status from success and capable students build a scholarship winning profile. In higher education, college athletic departments create the sports stars of tomorrow; physical education has in many cases been renamed “kinesiology” or “movement” in an attempt to redefine it with an educational rather than an athletic focus.
The American public are acknowledged as being great sports fans, many thriving on being associated with a particular winning team. This is a strange occurrence, as if you are only associated with the team, you yourself are not actually seen to be succeeding in sport. The system of opportunity used by the states is the draft system. This gives all successful and less successful teams the chance of getting to the top. It works by a system in that the lowest ranking team in the professional level of sport gets to have first pick of the top college players after graduation. Hereby they can bulk out their team with stronger players, and help them to move up the tables.
Sport is thought to have such splendour, that even high school games are publicised, and are broadcast on TV/radio. They are turned in to enormous events, and all the family and friends turn up to support the team. This is greatly contrasted to the UK, where only a handful of parents will come to stand on the side of a hockey pitch, and shiver for an hour or two to support small inter-school matches.
In my opinion, the media attention could help to improve the quality of the matches. There is more pressure on all of the team members to train hard, work together, and get it right. If you know you have your whole family in the stands, watching and cheering for you, you are more likely to try harder. One of the reasons for this to be a possibility in the USA is that the government funds Sports. You can easily apply for sports funding, and so more money is available to make these small matches into large events. But in doing so, they are also making even more money, because they can charge people a small fee to watch, they can make money on t-shirts, banners, hooters etc. They can also make money on refreshments. Media attention on high school matches could have its negative side, in that the teams, which are not doing so well, would be publicly humiliated. They would be made to feel less important, and would be made to have lower self-esteem.
To conclude I would say that the reason for Americans getting such a kick out of supporting their team is because they love to watch them win. They have been brought up in a sports-loving society, which has moulded them into who they are. The subject of media attention has both its pros and cons, but in my opinion, sports in high school should be made into big events. It can help with confidence and self-esteem, and can help sports to grow, and participants to improve. The USA is lucky that they have funding for sports, and that it is such a large part of their lives. Sport has many psychological, physiological, and social benefits, and should be incorporated into everyday life.