Sports and Teaching Teamwork for Kids

Kids need at least one hour of physical activity every day for optimal health, according to medical recommendations. Running and playing outdoors is one way to reach this physical activity goal. Playing sports is another effective way for kids to get exercise. Playing on a sports team has both physical benefits and other advantages for youngsters. When children participate in sports, they can receive educational, social, and emotional boosts as well.

Active kids often have an easier time maintaining a healthy weight, and they may have less body fat thanks to their regular exercise. Studies indicate that people who are physically active on a regular basis often avoid chronic diseases, and kids are no different. When children participate in an active sport, they can maintain healthier muscles, joints, and bones. Participating in a childhood sport is often a predictor for ongoing sports participation into adulthood. Instilling a love of sports and participation in this type of activity makes it more likely that kids will continue to enjoy sports and remain active after becoming adults.

A number of educational benefits have strong ties with sports participation. Children may have improved cognitive skills when they play on a sports team. Kids often perform better academically when they play sports, getting higher grades and scoring higher on standardized tests. Better concentration, classroom behavior, and attention levels also have a correlation with sports participation.

The social and psychological benefits of sports participation are also positive results for active children. Kids who play sports often display strong leadership characteristics, have higher self-esteem, and demonstrate effective goal-setting skills. These characteristics can be especially pronounced for youth who participate in sports from childhood into their teen years. Kids with a strong sports experience may be less likely to use drugs, to be sexually active, and to have problems with depression.

Excelling at a sport takes hard work and dedication. When a child practices to attain skills, success usually accompanies this effort. Kids who play on a team will learn the benefits of working together to achieve a common goal. Team members must work together selflessly for the good of the team as a whole. It's not always easy to work with others, but being part of a sports team can provide children with opportunities to learn how to work positively with others. Competition is an integral part of sports participation. While sports usually teaches people the benefit of working hard and striving to attain goals, it's impossible to win every time. Hence, sports participation can help youngsters learn how to experience failure positively. Using failure to learn from mistakes and as a tool for setting new goals can ensure that setbacks are temporary while the child continues to try. Personal sacrifices are also common for people who choose to pursue a sport. Devoting time to practice means not spending as much time with friends or in leisure activities such as watching television. The ability to make a personal sacrifice will serve a youngster well throughout life.

To ensure a good sports experience, parents must monitor participation in an ongoing fashion. The intensity of participation is important. A child who commits time and effort to a sport will usually attain skills and knowledge to master it. As this occurs, the strategic thinking that happens will be applicable to this and other areas of the youngster's life. The commitment to a sport will enable the child to set goals, overcome obstacles, and build both emotional and physical strength that will enable success in many different areas. A balance between sports and other activities is important, however. A youngster whose sports schedule dominates over most other activities might benefit from adding other things into the itinerary. Spending time engaged in other pastimes that do not involve competition might be advantageous in these situations.

Learn more about the value of sports and the lessons taught by athletic participation by visiting the following resources: