With summer upon us, the peak season for team sports is kicking into high gear. Kids everywhere are dusting off their shin pads, gloves, jerseys, and shorts to prepare for soccer, baseball, basketball, volleyball, flag football, frisbee season, and more! Aside from being just plain fun to play, team sports can positively affect a young person’s life physically, mentally, and socially.
Team sports help teach children about teamwork, communication, leadership, sportsmanship, commitment, handling pressure, and more! They help to build a child’s self-esteem and give them a sense of community.
Here are a few details of the long-lasting benefits that playing team sports can provide for a child:
- Self-Esteem Increase
Contributing to a team and working towards a collective goal can boost a child’s self-esteem. Giving and receiving praise or recognition for their effort helps a child build confidence and contributes to elevating the confidence levels of their teammates.
- Relationship Building
When kids work and play together consistently on a team, they develop camaraderie by supporting each other through the ups and downs of a competitive sport. These lasting bond forms go beyond the playing field.
- Character & Teamwork
Teamwork is a crucial skill that we use throughout our entire lives. Young children who play team sports learn the importance of teamwork early by working with others to achieve their goals and develop their skills. They also understand leadership skills and the importance of sportsmanship and displaying good character regardless of the game’s outcome.
- Hard Work Pays Off!
Learning the value of effort can be advantageous for a young child. Working through adversity, learning from mistakes, recognizing weaknesses and improving upon them, and practising a skill until you master it is all rewards of hard work. Being on a team allows a child to set individual goals, be a part of a group goal, and then work towards success. The experience of working hard off the field and then seeing the results on it can lead to a significant boost in confidence and an important lesson learned in all areas of life.
- Mental & Physical Benefits
Studies have shown that adolescents who play sports have better mental health and less risk of depression as they head into young adulthood. Some Doctors and Researchers have suggested that policies should be implemented to increase school sports participation as part of a public health strategy to promote mental health. It also provides valuable exercise, promotes an active lifestyle, and helps them to develop their athleticism and physical coordination.
Playing sports offers a child the chance to experience unique scenarios and situations. They can find themselves in a position where the team is losing by a wide margin, or it could be a tie game with 10 seconds left. Whether it’s making a big comeback or attempting the winning shot, adapting to and working through such situations can lead to increased critical thinking skills, better coping skills, and becoming comfortable in high-pressure situations. These can be valuable skills to learn at a young age as they can help to prepare children for feeling pressured at school or work as they get older.
Regardless of where you go, learning to be a good teammate will serve you well. Encourage your child to join a team this year! The benefits are many, and the joy of watching your child participate, learn, improve, and succeed is a great feeling for any parent.