Parents want their children to grow into happy and successful adults. Along with providing them the best home life and education possible, one of the best things you can do is to encourage their participation in a team sport. If you think that this isn’t important, take a look at a few of the benefits that involvement in team sports can offer your kids.
You spend a lot of time making sure your child is safe and healthy. You worry about whether you should let them eat out, what media they should consume, whether you should use a fluoride toothpaste, and if not, is hydrogen peroxide safe for teeth? A great team sport can help address some of your health concerns.
Childhood obesity is rampant today and can be clearly connected to the sedentary lifestyle that the digital age has ushered in. Between TV, computers and their phones, the average child spends about six hours a day in front of a screen. Children today live in a digital world and some of that screen time cannot be avoided, but it has become more important than ever to encourage forms of physical activity that counter these sedentary pursuits. Involvement in a team sport can give your child the physical activity they need to be healthy
Increased Communication and Teamwork
When your son or daughter becomes a member of a team, they will learn to express themselves and communicate their thoughts to teammates and coaches alike. They will need to learn how to communicate with a diverse group of people and how to listen to the ideas and concerns of others. Obviously being on a team will teach them how to work within a team. They will learn what it is to share a common goal with others and to work together to achieve it. These are all skills that will stand them in good stead and give them an advantage when they grow up and move into the workplace.
One of the best gifts you can give your child is to help them learn to become resilient individuals. Resilience is the ability to experience failure or a setback and understand how to frame it and how to come back from it. Many mental health practitioners will posit that a lack of resilience is one of the reasons we are seeing such a dramatic increase in childhood anxiety and depression.
Being involved in a team sport will allow your child to experience challenges and even losses in a relatively low-stakes situation and give them the opportunity to recover and try again. They will learn that failure is an opportunity to work and improve and that no loss is the end of the world. Many of the world’s most successful people have stated that achieving greatness boils down to having the ability to fail and then try again.
Better Academic Performance
All of the benefits of participating in a team sport that are listed above will help your child succeed academically. They will transfer their understanding that hard work leads to success to their Algebra class. They will have a more productive response to a bad test grade, acting to improve it rather than giving up. They will be capable of and willing to communicate more effectively with their teachers. The benefits won’t just stop at the edge of the field.
Additionally, there are real mental advantages that come with involvement with sports. Being active increases blood flow to the brain which leads to a higher level of brain activity and a deeper capacity for understanding complex reasoning. It also increases growth factors in the brain leading to the building of new nerve cells. The increase in endorphins can even battle childhood depression.
Involvement in a sport may be just what your child needs. They could experience profound positive effects such as improved health and the development of resilient nature. And if you are concerned that sports might interfere with school, remember that there are documented advantages there too. If it’s not for your child, no harm done, but the potential benefits are worth giving it a try.