Introducing kids to sports at an early age is enormously beneficial. As a parent, you already know some of the numerous ways that learning through play can stimulate a child mentally, socially and physically. Yet what will stick with them through life?
Being a part of the team is more than wearing the same uniform. Having teammates depend on them and learning to depend on their teammates is crucial and sets kids up to thrive in a society such as ours. Celebrating a win as a team is as important as accepting loss as a team. Being able to make such concessions is an essential life skill.
Practice is said to make perfect. When children find improvement by repeating tasks, they can increase their resolve and tenacity. Honing a skill is valuable and will not only enhance their gameplay but will also instill that becoming better is a reward in and of itself.
Taking shots in sports, while calculating risk, is vital in developing a sense of when it’s a good time to go for it and when it’s better to pass. Being prepared to accept that not every play will go his or her way and that not every game will be won inspires a child to work all that much harder. Moreover, knowing that he or she should not quit when it gets tough is a crucial attitude needed to win.
When surveyed, 55% of parents believe participating in sports will benefit their child academically while also having a positive effect on their future careers. Furthermore, 80% of parents believe that having their child in sports helped him or her learn about discipline, dedication and how to get along well with others. Current research in child health and development supports these beliefs.
The same study revealed that adolescents who play sports are eight times more likely to be physically active at age 24 than those who do not play sports. Additionally, participating in sports leads to immediate psychological benefits, with the positive effects continuing after retiring from sports.
Other health studies show that participating in physical activity is associated with improved bone health, increased cardiorespiratory and muscular fitness, enhanced cardiovascular fitness, and a reduced risk of cancer and diabetes. All these benefits may lead to healthier, more fulfilling lives.
The lasting benefits a child gains from sports go beyond what is included in the accompanying resource. While developing a love of the game, having fun and working as a team, children can become the best versions of themselves.