Kids and Sports: 5 Benefits Kids Get From Playing Sports

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Kids and sports are a touchy subject for many parents as our children are playing fewer sports than we used to at their age. Only 38% of American children aged six to twelve played a team sport in 2018. Sadly, this figure is only getting worse.

Children aren’t as enthused about sports these days. The cost of participating in a team sport has also increased. Kids are spending hours on online games, smartphones, and websites like YouTube, which were non-existent 20 years ago. This isn’t a good thing, as shown by rising levels of obesity, depression, and antisocial behavior amongst children.

Kids and Sports

It may take a lot of effort and fights to convince your children to participate in team sports. Not to mention, being the parent of student-athletes requires a lot of time, patience, and money. However, the benefits that children gain from participating in sports makes it worth it.

Keep reading for five key benefits that kids get from playing sport so that you can ensure that your children take up a sport.

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1. Promotes Physical And Mental Fitness

Team sports help your child to become both physically and mentally fit. Children that are part of a team have to practice regularly and take part in fitness drills to be fit enough to play at team games. This helps them stay physically fit and prevents obesity.

Children that participate in team sports are also more emotionally healthy. This is because they learn how to deal with emotions within a safe environment with adult supervision. Examples of emotions that children experience during a game include anger, frustration, winning, and losing.

Kids participating in team sports have also been found to be less depressed than those that don’t do sport. Exercise is a known mood booster because it helps us to release endorphins. Being part of a team also gives your child many people to talk to in case of negative feelings.

2. Raises Self-Esteem

Being part of a sports team helps a child to develop higher self-esteem. Showing up for team practices and completing team drills and exercises helps the child see themselves as a responsible member of the team.

Self-esteem is also developed by making goals and accomplishing them. Children that are in a team sport are often encouraged to make goals for their sport as well as in their personal lives. Their goals are for individual and team achievement, and they feel great when they stick to their goals and achieve them.

3. Increases Chances of Attending College

Children that compete in team sports have higher chances of attending and finishing college. They usually get scouted by different colleges to play the sport at their college. Also, being surrounded by other kids headed to college helps your child feel like this would be possible for them too.

Going to college is a good aspiration for a child to have as it shows their future thinking and planning. A child can go a long way with a good education under their belt and the networking opportunities that college has to offer.

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4. Improve Grades

Kids that take part in sports tend to have higher grades than those that don’t. This fact may be due to several factors. Parents of kids in sports tend to be around the child more and are interested in their activities. Involvement encourages the child to take their studies more seriously because they know that their parents are watching.

Some teams also don’t allow children to play in games unless they maintain a certain GPA. This factor forces children to focus on their studies. Being around other children that are doing well in school can encourage the child to study hard and attain good grades.

Being healthy and fit helps your child concentrate in class and learn better, which leads to better grades.

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5. Enhances Social Skills and Peer Relationships

Being part of a little league helps children develop good friendships. Practicing drills daily with other children creates many opportunities for children to become friends. Kids and sport also have a connection when it comes to good social skills. Children learn how to speak and communicate with their team members, competitors, and instructors.

Most youth sports teams also provide kids with little league pins, which help them to feel like a part of a team. This is great for giving children a sense of community and closeness to bond with others around them.

Other social skills that children learn while playing a team sport are fairness, honesty, and good sportsmanship. Without proper social behavior, a team can quickly deteriorate and end up disbanded. This factor is why team coaches work hard to instill ethical values in children.

Sports are one of the most effective ways to build social confidence in kids. Learn five great reasons why kids and sports are a great mix! #parentingtips #sports #kidsports

Kids and Sports Still Work Hand-in-Hand

The rising levels of obesity in children are very startling but are controllable. You can reduce your child’s screen time by encouraging them to be part of a team sport. Taking an active role in parenting will also make your child enthusiastic about their sport activity.

Try and find out what interests your children and where their strengths and weaknesses lie. Knowing your child will help them choose a team sport that they can be committed to.

If your child doesn’t want to take part in team sports you should find other ways for them to be active. This will ensure that they stay fit and healthy as well as develop an interest or hobby outside the computer. Examples of these activities include hiking, swimming, becoming a girl guide or scout, dancing, and even joining a gym.

All these would keep your child active and healthy. For more information on kids and sports, read the rest of our blog.

By TheMomKind

Alicia Trautwein is an autism parenting coach living in Missouri. She is the creator behind The Mom Kind, a website dedicated to parenting neurodiverse families.  She is featured in the "Amazing Moms" coffee table book by Hogan Hilling & Dr. Elise Ho.  She shares her expertise along with her experience in parenting children, both with and without autism.

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