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5 Reasons Why Your Child Should Play Sports

02/04/2018, 2:00pm CST
By YMCA For Youth Development

They’re a part of nearly everybody’s lives in one way or another, but there are always a few people who aren’t sure of the benefits that sports have on people’s lives.

That’s particularly true when it comes to their kids. Some parents are afraid of the time commitment that comes with sports, or the potential for injuries, the competitiveness, or a myriad of other concerns. Those concerns are understandable, but the benefits of playing sports far outweigh the drawbacks.

Not sure about why sports should be a part of your kids’ lives? Here are five big reasons why you should start them in sports and never look back.

Sports are fun!

...and that’s - by far - the most important thing. No matter what, you’re never going to have more fun than when you play sports. It’s a game, yes, but no games will ever teach kids more life lessons. They’ll look forward to playing their sport once they see how much fun it is.

Promoting an active lifestyle

Well, of course, right? It stands to reason that constantly being on the move will help develop athleticism and endurance, and eventually, kids will learn proper strength training and conditioning to keep them in top shape. That being said, sports also help promote optimal nutrition, especially pre and post-practices and games. Developing an active lifestyle early means that there’s a better chance that kids maintain it in the long run.

Learning to Overcome Adversity and Setbacks

Playing sports isn’t always easy, yet mistakes and failures is where kids learn the most. How does a basketball team react when it’s down by five points with 30 seconds to play? How does a football team grow from losing a championship game in overtime? There will definitely be a time where you won’t agree with your coach’s decisions. Life won’t always be easy, so teaching kids how to deal with failure early will help them understand what it takes to overcome it without being coddled.

Time-management skills

Games are always the carrot to dangle for kids, but there’s so much more that goes into it. How do they prepare for those games, and how do they still ensure that everything else gets taken care of? Telling your teacher that you couldn’t do your homework because you had a game or skipping practice because you waited to the last minute to write your book report isn’t going to go over well. Kids learn from an early age that they have to prioritize certain things in order to get everything done that they want to and need to do in a certain amount of time.

Teamwork makes the dreamwork

It’s going to be awfully difficult for kids to achieve what they want in life without the ability to work as a team. Even athletes in individual sports have to train with someone and listen to their coaches. Athletes in team sports? They have to make a bunch of short-term and long-term decisions, all of which will affect the game’s outcome. Sports help a child’s decision-making and goal-setting, but most importantly, they’ll get to figure out their problems together.

- YMCA For Youth Development

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