Think back to your early experiences of playing physical games and sports and describe them in terms of when they occurred, the context in which they occurred, and what was going on in your life as they occurred. How were those early experiences related to your age, social class, race or ethnicity, family, and neighborhood or community?
When children first play sports (or do not play sports through childhood), they do so in connection with ideas about themselves, about their bodies, and about the meaning of their experiences. Where did these ideas come from in your childhood (ages 4–12)? How did they influence the patterns of your experiences and the emotions that accompanied them? Have they changed in your life since age 12? How have they influenced your experiences since childhood up to the present time?
Opportunities to play sports and the character of sport experiences often are different for boys and girls and for children from different racial or ethnic groups and social class backgrounds. Write about how gender, race/ethnicity, and social class influenced the sports you did or did not play as a child. Have factors related to gender, race/ethnicity, and social class influenced your experiences through your life to the present? Explain as best as you can.
Many young adults say that without their parents, they never would have had the opportunity to play sports as a child or adolescent. Explain the ways that your parents encouraged/facilitated or discouraged/interfered with your sport participation. Were there differences between the support provided by your mother and the support provided by your father? Write about this issue.
Think about how your experiences related to sports have influenced (or not influenced) your life. Write about this.
Your concluding paragraph should describe what you anticipate in the future with respect to sports in your life, and how that future is connected with your past experiences and what may be occurring in your life in the future.
Communicate with an individual who comes from a different background than your background. Ask the individual about his/her experiences and how those experiences were and continue to be related to who he/she is, how he/she is connected with others, where he/she comes from, his/her opportunities, etc.
The goal of this paper is to see and describe your experiences in a way that enables me to put them in context, compare them with the experiences of others, and make sense of similarities and differences.