Youth Sports photo by Alliance Football Club via Unsplash

5 Benefits for Kids on Sports Teams

January 27, 2021 | by mikkie mills, guest contributor

If your kid has way too much energy and needs to get out of the house, it may be time to check out local sports teams. While the practice and game schedules can get intense depending on the league, there are plenty of benefits to putting your kid on a team. Here are just a few to consider.

1. New Hobbies

Hobbies can be an important element of life throughout all different chapters. A hobby you enjoy can help decrease stress and ward off conditions like depression while keeping your brain active. Getting your child started early can help them discover what their interests are. Even if they don't want a career in basketball, their time on the team could steer them closer towards something they do enjoy. Plus, having a hobby can help them naturally develop new goals and find techniques to achieve them. Maybe your child wants to play in a specific position, so they need to practice for an hour every day after school. Added bonus: This makes gift-giving easier for you, since you can invest in new practice clothes or buy custom baseball gloves.

2. Exercise

When society places so much emphasis on physical appearance, it's important to develop a healthy relationship with exercise as soon as possible. When your child finds an outdoor activity they enjoy, chances are they don't even equate it with exercise. The variety of sports teams available offers such a wide range of physical activity that everyone is bound to find something they enjoy. You can turn it into a family activity and help develop their skills outside of practice while promoting family bonding.

3. Teamwork 

Something everyone learns sooner or later is that they need to learn how to work with others. If your child struggles with this concept in school during group projects, their grade may be negatively impacted. If they get used to the idea of working with a variety of people and personalities ahead of time through sports, they may be better equipped to handle difficult social situations. Communication skills are essential for all areas of life, and seeing that communication potentially results in a win at a game can be incredibly rewarding.

4. Responsibility

Everyone has to do things they don't want to do at some point or another, and chances are your child will experience this sooner rather than later. Even if your child loves their sport, there may come a Saturday when they'd rather sleep in or spend the day at home instead of going to a game. This is a good opportunity to explain the importance of responsibility and commitment. By being a part of a team, each player depends on all the others to show up ready to play. Plus, if enough players don't show, the game has to be canceled for everyone. No one wants to be the reason their friends can't play. Moreover, as their parents, chances are you've already invested money and time into the sports season, so you're both accountable for finishing out the season. If being involved in the sport is distressing to your child, then there's no shame in quitting early (but communication is essential, with each other and the coach), otherwise you can explain this commitment as something you do together.

5. Friendship

If your child is struggling to make friends, sports teams can be a great place to find them. Children brought together by the love of a sport are guaranteed to have at least one thing in common, which makes play dates easier to plan as well. This is also an opportunity for your child to meet friends from other schools or neighborhoods, which can further expand their worldview.

While placing your child on a sports team may seem like a substantial investment of both your time and money at first glance, there are so many chances for your child to experience lifelong benefits. The best part is that you can support your child's passions and watch them develop crucial life skills while also having fun.

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