Playing sports as a child leads to a number of significant advantages including improved physical health, improved mental health, and better overall mental health later in life. Signing your child up for swim teams and sending them off to one of the nation’s top boarding schools for young athletes has numerous benefits that far surpass the monetary value for years to come because of the myriad benefits that extend beyond childhood… Sports help your child learn how to be assertive, competitive, and disciplined. Along with improving physical health through participation in sports, children who participate in sports also find themselves becoming more active as well as being more aware of their bodies and how they function. The healthier a child is, the more alert they will be and the easier it is for them to cope with school and other daily stresses.
Children who are actively enrolled in sports are far less likely to become overweight or obese. Further, studies have shown that participation in sports lowers the chances of heart-related issues related to obesity, such as high blood pressure, stroke, and even diabetes. Further, children who play sports are more likely to be involved in physical education classes and are more apt to take part in sports oriented activities. Not only do these factors serve as strong reminders of why parents should encourage their children to play sports, but they serve as powerful incentives as well. If a child shows a genuine interest in sports, his or her interest and participation will garner rewards beyond just playing…
For example, kids develop social skills while playing sports that they do not always get in school. As kids play sports, they learn how to interact with others, how to work out together, and how to form teams. In turn, kids develop healthy competition while playing sports. This is beneficial as the right spot at the right age can serve as a source of competition, motivation, and camaraderie.
Playing sports helps young minds develop emotionally. It is well known that emotional development occurs along developmental pathways such as biological, psychological, and environmental factors. By being exposed to physical activity on a regular basis, kids are learning how to deal with and manage emotions while getting exercise. Kids also learn how to set goals, succeed at individual sports, work towards team success, and how to succeed in the classroom. All of this is reinforced by the positive social reinforcement that kids receive from playing sports.
Developing healthy self-confidence is another important developmental benefit of playing sports. Youth who are confident, outgoing, and resilient are more likely to pursue careers and achieve success in school, sports, and other areas. Likewise, coaches are recognizing that kids who display these strengths are more likely to have higher opinions of themselves and will use those opinions to improve their lives. As a result, kids with high self-confidence are enjoying countless opportunities in and outside of the classroom.
Finally, playing sports is good for your health. Through exercise, kids are learning how to maintain a fit body and are less likely to develop conditions such as obesity or osteoporosis later in life. Moreover, playing sports helps to build mental strength, hand-eye coordination, and improved cardiovascular conditioning. All of which are positively reflected in the physical health of youth.
Beyond the health benefits, playing sports positively impacts a student’s social development. In schools where kids participate in organized sports, there is an increased sense of community and socialization. This helps to build self-esteem and promotes the development of positive leadership skills. Furthermore, kids who take part in organized sports are less likely to engage in delinquent behaviors and are less likely to be suspended from school.
There is certainly no denying the positive mental, social, physical health benefits of playing sports. In light of these benefits, why not start a little now? If you or your child wants to play sports, look for a program that works with kids with all ages and skill levels. Look for a program that works with a variety of ages and skill sets, so that you can get the most out of your sports.