Sports is life. That’s what a former college professor of mine used to often preach. He’d regularly deliver thoughtful lectures analogizing a sports-related matter to a real-life situation. It was then after my youth team sports “career” was concluded, that I gave meaningful thought about the real importance of sports; including tangible lessons learned.
While I was growing up, playing sports was everything in my neighborhood, a truly essential part of being a kid. Being active, making new friends, and finding a passion in the game was what it was all about amongst my friends. But it was more than that with respect to organized youth sports; it was also a family thing back then. It should be the same now.
So instead of just signing your children up for sports, get involved and use that time as family time, mindful that being active and engaged is healthy for all. Not only does it help get you and the kids out of the house for a while, but it’s also a fun and healthy way to create a positive impact on your life as well as your child’s life.
One of the greatest benefits of getting your family involved with a sport is becoming more active. Physical activity is important at any age, and playing sports is a great way to start. Whether your child is a natural athlete or not, getting them involved and moving is a great way to promote physical activity and exercise and making that a lifetime goal. Stressing the importance of exercise at that time plants the early seeds for, hopefully, a lifetime of meaningful physical activity. And while your child is at practice you might be reminded that hitting the gym, joining a local sports team yourself, or taking a brisk walk while your child is practicing her/his sport is in order.
Developing leadership skills is critical these days, even among persons without innate leadership proclivities. Getting your child involved with sports will offer early opportunities to do exactly that. Although being on a sports team requires a lot of teamwork, it also takes a lot of leadership skills. These are developed over time, but through taking on responsibility and learning the importance of sportsmanship, kids are introduced to numerous leadership opportunities and exposed to a variety of instances, in victory or defeat, that lead to becoming leaders. Adult coaches and mentors play a huge role by helping instill fair play, gracious winning, and losing, and assisting their players with finding their role within the team construct; all the while promoting and guiding the whole team towards achieving a healthy, competitive environment. This inevitably will foster leadership skills, which are never-ending life-skills your children will take with them and use in their future endeavors.
Making friends can be tough, even at any age. Playing youth sports affords both the players and their parents the opportunity to meet new people, learn about others, and interact on a team basis for a common interest. In short, it is a great way to improve social skills and make new friends. By participating in sports, children develop social skills that will benefit them for the rest of their lives. Parents can also reap the social benefits of participating as good and positive team supporters, connecting with other adults outside of work or their other usual circles.
Sports have also been known to help boost self-esteem and confidence in kids, teens, and adults. Those who participate in sports get encouragement and approval from coaches, teammates, and spectators which builds up confidence. Through sports, participants are also able to better cope with constructive criticism. Getting your family involved will help build your family’s emotional, mental, and physical well-being.
Sports is life. So engage in organized youth sports for fun, for family, for development, and for life.
Why should you get your family involved in sports? Because youth sports is a family affair.