Sport is meant to be fun, it gives you a sense of belonging. Playing for a team teaches you the values of team work, loyalty, respect and discipline. Of course there are the secondary benefits of keeping fit and healthy. Play sport for the love of it.
I have been fortunate enough to have been encouraged to play sport my whole life, I was never pressurized into playing any particular sport. I never made it right to the top but I enjoyed a wide variety of sports from a young age. It is still to this day that I am very active and it is because I was made to love it, made to enjoy every moment with my friends out on the sports field, I will be active for life.
Playing sports offers children more than just physical benefits. Sports typically help kids academically and socially as well. The benefits are the same whether or not your child actually excels at the sport. Although if they are really good they will probably want to continue playing when they are older. If your child isn’t good enough to play competitively on a school team try signing them up for a city league or encourage them to just go shoot some hoops with their friends.
List of ten reasons why your child should be encouraged to play sport
1. Playing sports is fun.
This is the most important reason to play sport for children. If it is fun and they love to do it, they will be far more likely to be active for life!
It gives your child something to do and a group to belong to. They have a group of friends that has the same goals and interests.
2. Sport improves body image.
Research has found that kids that play sports, especially girls, are more likely to have a positive body image and higher self-esteem.
They also are less likely to be overweight, this goes without saying. The health benefits of sport are great, having a higher self-esteem will go along way in young children building good relationships.
3. Sport helps prevent destructive activities
Kids involved in sports are less likely to take drugs or smoke because they realize the impact that these destructive activities can have upon their performance.
4. Sport can reduce depression.
Physical activities are a good way to relieve stress and reduce depression. In short, when you exercise, your body releases chemicals called endorphins, better known as the 'happy hormone' among exercise enthusiasts. These endorphins interact with the receptors in your brain that reduce your perception of pain. Endorphins also trigger a positive feeling in the body, similar to that of morphine.
5. Sports help kids develop discipline.
They learn to set goals and then work to achieve those goals. They learn that by working hard they can accomplish the things that they want to in their lives.
'Suffer the pain of discipline, or suffer the pain of regret.'
Teaching children about discipline through sport is exceptionally effective.
6. Sometimes you win and sometimes you lose.
Kids who play sports quickly learn that sometimes you win and sometimes you lose. They learn to be a good sport in both situations. It also helps them learn to deal with disappointment and go on.
'The mark of a great sportsman is not how good they are when they are at their best, but how good they are at their worst' - Martina Navratilova
7. Sport improves academic results.
Statistics show that kids who are involved in sports while in high school are more likely to experience academic success and graduate from high school.
8. Sports help develop teamwork and leadership skills.
Kids quickly learn that they have to work together as a team to win the game. Life demands for us to work as a team, sport develops these leadership skills.
9. Sport improves motor skills.
Motor skills, strategic thinking, and even math skills are learned by playing sports. Students develop strategic thinking as they figure out plays and the best way to get around a player or score a goal. Math skills are used as they calculate scores and stats.
10. Regular exercise increases quality of life.
Children who exercise are more likely to continue the practice into adulthood.
How ever you look at it, encourage a healthy habit of making sport a part of your child's life is a great idea. The benefits are not restricted to the elite performer in a specific sport.
Make sport a habit in your life and your children's life. Join TheLifeHabit community for guidelines and programs to set yourself up for an active year.