Participation in team sports helps kids to develop important character traits and values that they can use for the rest of their lives. Here are our top five reasons why your kid should play team sports.
Boosts Self Esteem
Being a part of a team can do wonders for a kid’s self-esteem. A pat on the back, a high-five or even just an off-handed “good job” can help build confidence and overall give your child a positive outlook on their personal capabilities. Being a part of a team with a united goal facilitates a greater sense of community and encourages kids to give and receive praise for their efforts towards a bigger goal. These are important skills that are carried with them for a lifetime.
Teaches Valuable Lessons
Playing team sports teaches many lifelong lessons that may not otherwise be learned during childhood. Playing and losing a game is humbling and, while tough to accept, will teach your kid the art of sportsmanship. Young athletes also learn better than anyone how important it is to work on a team and contribute equally to achieve a common goal.
Team sports, especially as your child gets older and more competitive, teaches perseverance and hard work. Nothing worth having comes easy, and athletes know better than anyone that hard work and dedication are what makes them stand out from the rest. Whether it’s making the varsity team, qualifying for state championships or getting scholarship offers, young athletes learn and practice the value of hard work and perseverance.
Gives A Sense of Belonging
Team sports are just that; a team of young athletes who all work together for a common goal. Through the long practices, traveling and post-game dinners, your child will build a true camaraderie with their team and make lifelong friendships. Even if they’re not best friends with every team member forever, your child will learn to social skills and will feel an overall sense of belonging by being a part of something bigger than just them.
Keeps Your Kids Healthy
Of course, physical activity is a given with any team sport. But more than that, team sports teach kids to take care of themselves and their bodies. When kids are young and their metabolism runs at the speed of light, they can get away with eating junk food all the time. But as your child gets into middle and high school, they’ll learn that in order to have enough energy to make it through a full school day and after school practice, they need to take care of themselves by eating healthy and staying hydrated. Coaches play an integral role in teaching nutrition, as well as proper techniques to avoid injury and different ways to stay in shape during the offseason. Starting education about exercise and nutrition early sets children up for a healthier lifestyle long into adulthood.
Sports don’t just teach kids the fundamentals of playing the game, they also instill a sense of respect for authority and consequences. Through team sports, kids learn very quickly the implications that come with not following the rules both in and outside of the game. Every foul, extra lap and benching teaches kids responsibility for their actions as well as respect for rules. Coaches often serve as guiding figures that athletes learn to respect and admire- sometimes just being an ear to listen or a voice of encouragement. Kids also learn communication and social skills, which will overall improve their behavior during situations outside of the court/field.
Team sports, in any variation, provide kids with the opportunity to gain crucial, lifelong skills they wouldn’t otherwise have. The memories made and lessons learned will stay with your child forever and shape them into a confident, disciplined and productive adult. The YMCA of Greater Cincinnati has a variety of competitive team sports available every season plus sports lessons, so sign your child up and give them the chance to be a part of a team and benefit from all that a team sport has to offer.