Benefits of Youth Sports

As parents we all want the best for our children.  A youth sport not only plays an important role in exercise, but promotes mental and psychological advances as well.  It is well-known that children who participate in sports are more likely to do well in school, and not use drugs or alcohol.  Below is a list of benefits to having your child involved in youth sports.

Socialization skills: Learning to share is a skill children are introduced to very early on, but being socialized and “playing well” with others requires a lot more than that! Sports give children a way to practice a range of critical social skills including effective communication and conflict resolution; all while making new friends!

Builds character – Playing sports at a young age enables children to participate in social interactions and build skills such as teamwork, leadership, and responsibility as they learn to work with others to achieve a common goal. This type of setting allows children to develop and practice different mental and moral qualities they acquire from their surroundings on the field, at the school and at home.

Promotes healthy competition – While naysayers like to claim youth sports are becoming too competitive, it is inevitable that as they grow, children will face competition in school, the workplace and their personal lives, so they must learn how to interact in competitive environments. Participating in sports will teach children how good sportsmanship and that trying your hardest will often yield great results.

Develop teamwork skills – Teamwork is a skill you are going use for years to come, so it is important to learn the basics early. Youth sports provide children important lessons in team dynamics. Everyone must work together to achieve their goals, and sports allow children to sort through each others strengths and weaknesses to decide what  strategy works best for the team.

New friends: Not for the kids this time…but for the parents! New to the area? Stay-at-home-mom? Busy professional?? Youth sports are beneficial to parents also because they provide parents an opportunity to meet other parents in the community, and those parents who share a similar interest of engaging their youngsters (an added benefit!)

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Academic performance: Sports equals discipline, and good discipline equals increased school performance. When children learn the essence of being rounded, it’s easier for them to apply the same principles in other areas such as work, school, and personal life.

Aids in weight control – Several studies have shown that childhood obesity is a growing problem in our society.  Playing sports, however, will keep children active and aid in the fight in combating this problem. Having a controlled weight leads to happier children and decreases the risk of diseases that comes from being overweight in their lifetimes, such as heart disease and diabetes.

Energy Aversion: Too much energy and hyperactivity are some of the most common gripes of parents to young children; but children sometimes only need more options for applying their endless energy…or more challenging options. Sports are a great solution. The physical demands of training, practices and games, can return children home feeling accomplished, yet tuckered out and ready for a good nights rest! Physical fitness: With physical fitness programs being cut in many schools, the need for extracurricular sports activities is even more important. Kids get exercise benefits through sports without even realizing that it is exercise!

Mentoring: A great coach not only motivates a team, but also is a great role model. Be sure that when you are choosing a youth league, that you also take the time to choose your coach! Send your coach an email introducing yourself, attend any meet-and-greets offered, or…volunteer to be a coach! Who know how to be a great coach other than you?

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Promotes healthy competition – While naysayers like to claim youth sports are becoming too competitive, it is inevitable that as they grow, children will face competition in school, the workplace and their personal lives, so they must learn how to interact in competitive environments. Participating in sports will teach children how good.

Fun: surprisingly, ‘winning’ doesn’t make the cut, but come on…Winning is fun–when it happens!   And the overall, experience of being on a youth athletic team is fun; so if you haven’t already, go register for something!

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