There are several benefits of playing sports for kids, such as having a healthier life, gaining more academic integrity, improving medical fitness, etc.
Allowing children to participate in outdoor extracurricular activities, such as sports, helps them explore and develop skills which are considered beneficial throughout their lives. By participating in sports, children are exposed to various mental, social, emotional, physical and educational benefits. Some of these benefits are:
Several studies have suggested that taking part in a sport can help in the development of your child’s self-esteem and confidence. Gestures such as a high-five from a teammate, a pat on the back, or a handshake, when a match is over, helps build confidence. Also, words of praise or of encouragement from the coach or players help build self-esteem. This also helps them learn to trust their own abilities and push themselves in their pursuits. However, one thing that should be remembered is that their self-esteem should not be distinguished based on winning or losing. Constructive criticism should be a major part in helping children learn about accepting their weaknesses and working on them to improve themselves. To do this you could encourage your child to play sports, and always ask them whether they enjoyed it or not, rather than whether they won or lost.
Playing a sport helps children develop social skills which would benefit them even when they grow older. Playing sports teaches them about teamwork and cooperating with others. They learn to interact with people from different ages. Also, joining a sports team helps give children a sense of belonging and gives them an opportunity to make friends. With more friendship circles it would help improve their communication skills, which will help them in their future careers and relationships.
Accept Defeat at Times
In most of the things you do in life, there will be a winner and a loser. Through sports your child can learn sportsmanship. They can learn how to accept and cope with losses rather than feeling completely defeated. You cannot win them all, and through sports, your child can understand that sometimes it’s okay if you lose. The important part is to get back up and try again.
There’s no harm in being competitive, but if you lose you should show good sportsmanship and accept defeat. No one likes to be around a sore loser who doesn’t respect the rules, and this brings us to the next point.
Any sport requires the athletes to maintain discipline. This discipline could be mental, physical, or tactical. To become better in any sport you require discipline. Without self-restraint it would be hard to succeed in any sport. Discipline helps the player achieve their goals and also reach their fullest potential.
In sports your child would need to follow a set of rules, take orders and accept decisions made by the coach. Good discipline is appreciated in sports, as there are penalizations for bad discipline. By listening to the coach and peers, your child would learn an important life skill which would help him throughout their career and life.
There’s No I in Team
Teamwork is a necessary skill to learn from an early age. A team cannot succeed unless they work together. Sports provide children with the important lesson of learning how to work in a team. Everyone has to come together to achieve the goal. By working together they will learn each other’s strengths and weaknesses and will be better able to decide and strategize the best plan for the team. This will without a doubt help them in their future lives and careers as well.
There are various benefits of sports for your child. This list is not exhaustive. There are several other benefits such as a healthier living, more academic integrity, medical fitness, etc. All of these benefits just goes to show how much a child can learn outside the classroom as well. However, to get your child to play a sport you may need to encourage them. You can help your child become active in sports in several ways:
- You could be physically active in sports yourself. This would help them as you are leading by example.
- Support your child’s efforts in sports. Try to be there for every match that your child plays, for encouragement.
- Try to limit the time spent on sedentary activities such as watching television or playing computer games.
- Play a sport along with your child.
So why wait any longer? Get your child enrolled in a sport which they want to learn. While you’re at it you should try learning it as well!