A big part of being a good parent is to encourage your children to succeed and reach their highest potential. Sometimes this involves simple acts, like scheduling television or video game privileges around homework. At other times, you may need to spend time getting your child to a meeting with a tutor. To ensure your child performs well academically, you don’t hesitate to sacrifice your time, but what about sports activities for kids?
For kids, participation in a sport is more than just an extracurricular activity; it can have a positive impact on mental and social development. In fact, there are many benefits to be gained by kids participating in sports.
Participation in sports provides an important sense of belonging for young kids and teenagers. The sports benefits are particularly valuable during the middle and high school years when kids start to gravitate toward cliques, and socially inept children get left out. Studies have shown that kids who play team sports tend to be happier than their less active peers.
Sports for kids also help improve overall health, and the way children perceive their physical condition. One research study determined that boys who didn’t play team sports in middle school were five times more likely to see themselves as out of shape or in poor health. Girls in this age bracket were 30 times more likely.
Team sports for kids also help them learn important life skills, like discipline, teamwork (working together toward a common goal), and commitment. Sports benefits include learning first-hand how regular practice improves athletic performance and the value of perseverance.
Sports activities for kids may help prepare them for future employment opportunities. A Cornel University study revealed that teens who play high school sports make better employees than students who do not. It doesn’t matter if the employer is an athletic person, or previously participated in youth sports. Young, student athletes are typically favored in the hiring process.
This list is a brief snapshot of the many reasons why team sports activities for kids are something parents should encourage. Every child has unique needs, but the potential sports benefits are so significant, participation in sports should be considered.