Many parents are reluctant to allow their children to participate in after-school sports and other physical activities because of concerns about injuries and the child’s self-esteem. Some parents worry that their children will encounter overly competitive teammates and coaches.
While these are natural parental concerns when a child initially enters the sports world, experts agree that the benefits of sports far exceed any potential risks.
Because this generation of children spends more time indoors than any previous generation, the nation is currently experiencing its worst childhood obesity epidemic. This crisis has prompted the President’s Council on Physical Fitness and Sports to recommend that children exercise for at least 60 minutes every day. Extensive research confirms that participation in sports reduces the risk for obesity and other serious issues like juvenile delinquency.
Improves Overall Health
A study entitled “Relationships Between Youth Sport Participation and Selected Health Risk Behaviors from 1999 to 2007” demonstrated that sports improve a child’s academic performance, self-esteem and social competence. Sports participation bolstered the children’s ability to solve problems and maintain normal weight. It also enhanced physical coordination and strengthened muscles and bones.
This Journal of School Health article and other published studies demonstrate that children enrolled in sports programs have a lower risk for dropping out of school, teen pregnancies and juvenile arrests.
According to the American Psychological Association, the benefits of exercise transcend physical fitness. Exercise releases natural substances like dopamine and serotonin that improve your child’s sense of well-being. Playing sports with friends is a fun way to alleviate stress associated with academic pressures.
Promotes Healthy Competition
Sports education teaches children how to deal with issues like competition that they will encounter throughout their academic, personal and professional lives. Children learn how to compete and succeed by giving their best effort during friendly competition.
Accomplishing important objectives in sports builds a child’s self-esteem. The competitive nature of sports places children in challenging situations that require ingenuity and perseverance.
Encourages Sportsmanship and Teamwork
Playing team sports teaches children how to share the responsibility and credit for the group’s performance. It also helps children learn how to be courteous whether they win or lose. Children experience positive emotions when teammates celebrate important milestones and victories.
Cultivates Lifelong Relationships
Many lifelong friendships begin during youth sports. The social skills that children develop in sports provide a solid foundation for building relationships throughout their lives.
Teaches Children How to Manage Pressure
Becoming an athlete requires a child to perform tough tasks under difficult circumstances. Playing sports helps children learn how to stay focused while dealing with pressure.
Few things in life compare to the thrill of being on a championship team, hitting a home run or scoring the winning goal. Your child can experience the rewards of sports in one of our golf camps. Beyond improving physical fitness, children socialize and work with others. Aussie Kids Atlanta provides a safe environment for children to develop essential life skills that they will use throughout life.