GRE Argument Essay 45

The following appeared in a letter to the editor of the Parkville Daily Newspaper.

“Throughout the country last year, as more and more children below the age of nine participated in youth-league softball and soccer, over 80,000 of these young players suffered injuries. When interviewed for a recent study, youth-league softball players in several major cities also reported psychological pressure from coaches and parents to win games. Furthermore, education experts say that long practice sessions for these sports take away time that could be used for academic activities. Since the disadvantages apparently outweigh any advantages, we in Parkville should discontinue organized athletic competition for children under nine.”

In this argument, the author has discussed the problem of children under 9 years playing softball and soccer. According to the author, the people of Parkville should not organize athletic competition for children under nine. As per the author, throughout the country, there were over 80,000 of these players, who participated in youth-league softball and soccer last year and they suffered serious injuries. The author’s argument looks justified in the first look. However, if we look at the data offered by him to support his argument, it does not seem convincing. A careful study and discussion can reveal that the letter is groundless and has several flaws.

Firstly, the author has given a number of 80000 children being injured. However, this is incomplete information as nowhere has the author mentioned the number of children who actually played the game. The absolute data provided by the author does not reflect the real seriousness of young players who suffered injuries. If the author wants us to assess the actual situation of young players who suffered injuries, then he should have dished out the ratio of young players injured, not the mere number of young players.

The second evidence produced by the writer is based on a study done in some major cities where these young softball players are facing pressure from their coaches and parents. There is a possibility that these big cities’ people are comparatively aggressive in competition, and therefore, they push their children more as compared to the parents from a small city. Hence, their kids are more likely to suffer from mental pressure. Moreover, the result acquired only through studying several major cities cannot represent all cities. Without accurate information, it is unjustified to propose to drop out athletic competitions in Parkville.

Another support sought by the author for his argument is that education experts say that long practice sessions for these sports take away time that could be used for academic activities. Here again the author has not provided any logical evidence. Such sports provide the children some break from their studies that helps them to have more progress in academic courses. Moreover, athletic activities help in the growth of children and hence, can enhance one person’s physical condition. Therefore, the author’s recommendation of giving up all the athletic competition is obviously groundless.

In conclusion, the letter’s recommendation and its evidence are unconvincing. The author has taken the help of an unconvincing study, which cannot be representative of all the cities of the country. To strengthen the letter, the author should have provided some solid information as the ratio of the young players who were injured in Parkville to prove that athletic competition has more disadvantages than advantages.