It’s summer time and that means that children are out of school and looking forward to all the fun actives they are going to do. A great way for children to express this excitement is by playing sports. Whether it be a family game of baseball in the backyard or enrolling your child on a summer soccer team, allowing your child to participate in sports can benefit their development physically, mentally, and emotionally. Stanford Children’s Health states that playing sports has a range of benefits:
- Better vision. Children who spend time outdoors playing, especially organized sports, are less likely to develop vision problems.
- Healthy weight. Obesity is increasing in children, but data show that kids who are more active, especially after school, are more likely to be of normal weight.
- Motor skills development. Sports participation helps with coordination and learning new skills.
- Social skills development. Playing on a team means learning to work with others and support them.
- Self-confidence. Success as a team member and an athlete builds confidence.
- Sportsmanship. Learning the rules of the game, respect for coaches and referees, and how to stay positive even when losing are all valuable life lessons.
- Fun and enjoyment
These skills will help a child develop physically and will help positively influence their character. Sports allow a child to acknowledge the glory of success and accept the defeat of losing, which later on will help them in similar high/low situations in life. Not only can sports help a child build better relationships with their peers, it can also help build a better relationship between the child and parent(s). Giving time to help your child learn the sport and develop their skill will result in more time spent with your child doing something they enjoy. It is important as a parent to always remember to be a good role model for your child and keep sports a fun, enjoyable game with sportsmanship at the center focus of the game. Not only can sports benefit a child mentally and physically, it can help a child succeed in the classroom as well. The Aspen Institute Project of Play found that children who played sports had enhanced concentration and attention, resulting in improved classroom behavior. This institute also stated that high school athletes are more likely to attend college than non-athletes. 73% of females and 59% of males who participated in high school sports are more likely to graduate from a four-year college.
Sports are a gateway for your child to safely meet new friends while getting the exercise they need. Being in a team environment increases their social skills and self-confidence. They also learn the importance of sportsmanship and the valuable life lessons that come along with the competition. This summer, when looking for activities to enroll your children in, consider sports, because it will benefit them now and in the future.