In today’s culture, many children lead sedentary lifestyles. With video games, the internet, online games, and all the children’s programming on television, kids can stay entertained all day long indoors. In fact, a report released by the American Academy of Child and Adolescent Psychiatry states that many children watch as much as 3-4 hours of television every single day. Getting your kids involved in community or school sports programs can give them many benefits they do not get sitting at home in front of the television or computer.Weight Control
According to the Centers for Disease Control, instances of obesity in children have tripled during the last three decades; in 2008, nearly 20% of all American kids were obese. To combat this trend, the CDC recommends at least one hour of daily exercise for all children between the ages of 6 and 17. Joining a sports team can help your child to meet this goal for physical activity, bettering their chances of avoiding obesity and the related health risks.
By participating in team sports, your children will learn the value of teamwork. Team sports such as baseball, soccer, football, or basketball can help your children to learn to work with other kids their own ages in competitions. Learning to cooperate with teammates to achieve group and individual goals is a valuable skill that your child will benefit from both on and off the playing field. This type of skill can be applied in all aspects of a child’s life, and will continue to benefit them into adulthood.
A big part of excelling at sports is acquiring an attitude of sportsmanship. By playing competitive sports, you child will experience both the thrill of victory and the agony of defeat; by learning an attitude of sportsmanship, your child can learn to be a gracious winner and loser. When you child is a good sport, this attitude can help them in other areas of life as well, and you will see your child taking the good things in life will calm grace and humility, and the inevitable downturns of life will not defeat them, but rather push them to be more prepared in the future.
When you child takes up a team sport, he or she will meet other people in his or her own age group who have an interest in common. This, coupled with the teamwork already mentioned, will pose an opportunity for your child to develop strong and lasting friendships. Socialization of this type can improve a child’s self-esteem and make him or her feel more strongly a part of their peer community.
To excel at sports, an athlete must learn discipline. The required exercising, training, practice, and following a coaches instructions will help a child athlete to develop self-discipline, which will benefit other areas of life as well.
It is also possible for your child to learn leadership skills by playing sports. For instance, your child could be promoted to team captain or encounter other chances to lead the team, whether during practice or competitive events. By becoming someone who leads and inspires those around them, you child will develop skills that will carry over into adult life.