Did you know that over 13 million American children and adolescents are obese? Obesity in childhood has been linked to greater incidence of many diseases. These include cardiovascular problems, diabetes, asthma, osteoarthritis, and even poor mental health.
One great way to make sure your kids learn to love exercise early on? Get them involved in sports. There are multiple reasons why kids should play sports. Join us as we discuss five of the best!
5 Reasons Why Kids Should Play Sports
From traditional team sports like soccer, baseball, and tennis, to slightly offbeat athletic activities such as fencing, Quidditch, or junior roller derby, there’s a sport for every child.
1. Teamwork Makes the Dream Work
The value of working with others in a team environment can hardly be overstated. Children who play sports learn how to cooperate and communicate to achieve a common goal.
Your young athlete will learn that they don’t have to like another player in order to work well with him. Team sports teach that individual achievement doesn’t mean much unless it advances the team as a whole.
Another important lesson is that not everyone has the same skills, but everyone can contribute in some way. Your child might not be the fastest runner, but her hand-eye coordination and quick reflexes make her a great field hockey goalie.
2. Social Opportunities
Playing sports is a great way to make new friends. This is particularly true for kids who are homeschooled or who have attended school with the same group of students for years. Traveling for away games also provides a good opportunity to meet new people.
Team sports require a lot of communication. That’s another skill that will serve your child well in every aspect of their life, from elementary school on into adulthood.
3. Stress Relief and Emotional Well-Being
Yes, even a young child can experience stress! Involvement in sport is a healthy way to blow off steam. Kids who participate in athletics are less likely to turn to destructive habits such as taking drugs, self-harming, or getting into fights.
Playing a sport can also boost a child’s self-esteem. Being named MVP or winning football medals is an incredible feeling, of course. However, it’s the day-to-day involvement in a team that truly helps children thrive emotionally.
4. A Healthy Relationship with Food
Athletes need healthy food to fuel their bodies. Getting involved in sports often encourages a youngster to make better food choices. Your child will find out firsthand how much better she feels when she eats nutritious meals. This is true both on and off the playing field.
There are so many longterm benefits to involvement in athletic pursuits that we sometimes forget one of the absolute best reasons to play a sport. It’s fun!
Getting together with their friends and teammates, moving their bodies, and developing their skills is simply a wonderful way to spend a Saturday morning or a Tuesday evening.
Better self-esteem, a healthy approach to eating, cooperation and communication, and social skills are also great reasons why kids should play sports. But perhaps the best reason is that your child will have a ball — if you’ll pardon the pun!
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