What you Gain
- Builds character – Playing sports at a young age enables children to participate in social interactions and build skills such as teamwork, leadership, and responsibility as they learn to work with others to achieve a common goal. This type of setting allows children to develop and practice different mental and moral qualities they acquire from their surroundings on the field, at the school and at home.
- Boosts self-esteem – Being part a of a team with similar goals will increase the child’s value of their self. What they contribute to the team – whether it be in leadership positions or in fulfilling important roles – will ultimately contribute to the boost in their self-esteem and their confidence. There are numerous studies that support the impact of youth sports on self-esteem. In fact, one Swiss study found that adolescents who participated in sports clubs viewed their health and their body image positively.
- Strengthens perseverance – Athletes are often placed in adverse situations on the field, both during game days and practices. During these high-pressure moments, the children learn to persevere through those challenges, and because there are so many of these moments in sports, the child will learn to quickly adapt to these situations and take them in stride. Practicing perseverance at a young age with this kind of adversity will lead to better coping skills, and critical thinking and application skills in life when they are met with bigger challenges.
- Provides guidance – As youths, children haven’t experienced nor learned what adults have, and because of this, children require guidance to make the right decisions. While parents and guardians are the ultimate mentors, participating in youth sports also gives athletes the opportunity to meet positive people, such as coaches and parent volunteers, who will guide them as they grow. Some examples of mentors include coaches and parent volunteers. In a study conducted by Big Brothers Big Sisters, children are 52% less likely to skip school if they have a mentor and 46% less likely to use drugs. There are tons of things out there to distract the impressionable youth, but sports gives them focus and people to make sure they stay on track.