There are a few clearly identifiable disadvantages to playing sports, whether for children or adults. Some of the disadvantages are: increasing the risk of injury, adding a lot of pressure, developing aggression and the large investment of time.
Injuries ranging from the milder cuts, bruises and sprains to the more serious and debilitating, such as fractures of various bones or the spine, brain injury and loss of hearing or eyesight, are an increasingly common aspect of group sports. Over many years of training and competing, the body may succumb to early wear and tear and long-term damage and impairment can take place.
Young and even seasoned older athletes face a lot of pressure to constantly perform at peak levels and win. Pressure can come from parents, coaches, organizations and sometimes even from the country. The constant pressure can cause emotional disturbances and lead many athletes to destructive behaviors such as cheating and drug and alcohol abuse.
The intense and unrelenting competition and the lure of big rewards fosters a spirit of aggression and unruly behavior. In most cases this is confined to relatively harmless forms or aggression, such as swearing, name calling and temper tantrums on the field. However, there are far too many recorded instances of violence and grievous bodily harm arising out anger against fellow players and referees. Sometimes the athletes are even targeted for attack by disappointed fans.
Playing a particular sport also usually demands a big investment of time. Practice sessions, the actual game, travelling to and from different game venues (some of which may even require international travel), can result in many hours away from the family and other support systems. This sometimes leads to intense loneliness, isolation and even depression for the athletes.