Team sports are fun, competitive outlets for kids to strengthen their skills and enjoy the sports they love, but they’re about more than just winning and losing. Team sports have the power to boost self-esteem, create healthy eating habits, and set your youngster up for a successful future. Read on to discover why team sports can help your child become a champion for life!
Research shows that children who play organized sports are frequently healthier and physically stronger than their less athletic peers.
But what about the mental benefits? According to sports psychology author Jim Taylor, Ph.D., endurance sports have been found to enhance brain development and raise IQ. In addition, he says that sports build confidence, develop focus, and teach kids about emotional control. "Kids learn essential life skills, such as hard work, patience, persistence, and how to respond positively to setbacks and failure," Taylor says.
Find out how team sports encourage the following traits to help your child succeed:
When children are younger, they typically join team sports to make new friends and learn social skills. But even as they get older and the competition heats up, kids still benefit from the social aspect of organized athletics. According to licensed marriage and family therapist Bette Alkazian, team sports teach children how to overlook an annoying teammate or a bad attitude. They also encourage friendship and empathy for fellow teammates. "When a friend gets hurt, you cheer for them and hope they find the inner strength to push through and play on," she says.
Team sports bring together kids from various religious and cultural backgrounds, which is bound to provide a valuable learning experience. Teammates must learn how to adapt to and accept each other's cultures so they can work together as a team. Learning how to be a true friend and how to accept others are powerful people skills that will take your child far past high school.
When playing on a team, kids, coaches, and parents spend plenty of time together. Making sure everyone gets along comes down to one simple word: respect. Not only will your little athlete learn to respect and honor his or her coach and the coach's decisions, but also to respect their fellow teammates. By noticing the strengths that each individual player brings to the team, they'll learn to appreciate and respect each other's talents. It's only healthy to be competitive, but respect fosters a friendly competition that pushes each teammate to be the best they can.
In addition, team sports will give your youngster something to take pride in. Once they achieve goals they set for themselves, they'll gain pride in their success and confidence in their skills.
Strong work ethic
Kids who participate in team sports are also more likely to be active, hard working students, and better future workers. That's because organized athletics teach kids how to be disciplined during practice, how to focus on the task at hand, and how to have patience when the going gets tough. Children playing team sports also have to learn how to achieve balance between their school work and athletics, which fosters a strong work ethic both on and off the court.
Unfortunately, their team won't always win, and every call by the referee won't always seem fair, but dealing with disappointment will only make your youngster stronger as they grow older. Not only will they gain the willpower to be the best athlete they can, but they'll also learn the importance of perseverance and endurance to get them through the rough times and most importantly, to never give up.
Team sports are a huge self-esteem booster for kids. They'll gain greater confidence by learning about their own strengths and capabilities. In addition, kids involved in athletics tend to be natural leaders and learning leadership skills at a young age will be a big boost someday in the corporate world.
For girls entering adolescence, team sports are especially important. As Tonia Caselman, Ph.D., points out, this is a time when most girls are being bombarded by messages about the importance of their looks and popularity, which can take a toll on their self-esteem and even lead to eating disorders. But team sports help build their confidence by proving that they're valued for more than just their looks.
Organized athletics also have the power to give your child courage. Picture it now: the team is tied with 2 seconds left, and your child is handed the basketball just in time to make the game-deciding shot. When the buzzer goes off, the ball goes through the net and your child throws her hands up victory, you'll be reveling in her courage and confidence.
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