To say that sports have been around for a while would be a bit of an understatement, After all, the use of sports in virtually every society that has ever existed is a well-known fact that very few folks would dare to dispute.
As far back as the ancient greeks and thousands of years before them, sports predate modern man by thousands of years. No one knows what society was the first to incorporate the use of sports, however, what is an indisputable fact is why parents should put their kids in sports.
I was blown away by all the benefits that come with utilizing sports as a way to raise productive and healthy children. I discovered 8 reasons why parents need to enroll their kids in sports.
Parents should put their kids in sports for a variety of reasons. Besides keeping kids healthy and in shape, sports are a great way to teach children how to function in a team setting, it greatly improves their hand-eye coordination, develops healthy competitiveness, improves leadership skills, acts as a natural stress reliever, develops resiliency, and keeps kids off the streets.
On the surface, it seemed to me that exercise was the only benefit, however, through my research I discovered that there were so many other reasons to make sports an integral part of your family.
Let’s take a moment and go through each benefit one by one, shall we?
Keeping Kids Healthy And In Shape:
We all want our kids to become healthy and in shape. After all, a healthy body translates over into a healthy mind a swell – it’s that mind-body connection we all hear so much of.
The problem is, although we have all heard of the need for our children to benefit from this you have to do some sort of physical activity most days per week and for at least 30 minutes to benefit.
Let’s face it, buying an expensive piece of equipment like a treadmill or step master may seem like a good idea at the moment, however, chances are it will only hang around and collect dust.
This is where sports come in handy…
As I mentioned in a previous piece I wrote about, it doesn’t matter what sport you decide to participate in, the overwhelming majority of them will be sufficient especially if your goal is to keep your kids healthy and in shape.
Some may, for example, underestimate sports like ping pong or low-key ones like badminton. On the surface, this may seem like a reasonable assumption. However, if you have ever attempted to play a game of either one of these sports you will quickly realize that it’s a lot harder than it looks.
The other day my daughter and I played a 30 minute game of badminton, and I have to admit that near the end I was becoming really tired (I even took a nap shortly thereafter)
And in this day of age kids need an outlet more than ever to counteract teasing, and because regular activity improves your outside appearance abuse like body-shaming is also minimalized.
The bottom line? Don’t underestimate any sport you may end up having to eat your own words in the end,
Sports Teach Kids How To Function As A Team:
Most of us reading this post understand the value of good parenting and the benefit of teaching kids the importance of functioning as a team player.
The capacity and ability to work as a unit with other folks is a necessary skill they will use throughout their life.
While children are taught other essential life skills, kids also need to be instructed on how to work as a team as well if they are going to
Sports Greatly Improves hand-eye coordination:
One of the least most talked about the benefit of sports is the ability to greatly improve your child’s hand-eye coordination.
The ability to excel in this area is a major benefit because it filters down into other areas of their lives as well.
For instance, children who have decent hand-eye coordination have a better ability to handle activities such as painting, finger-painting, and clay-molding – all great things that require kids to foresee and envision the object they wish to formulate.
Ultimately, superior hand-eye coordination may eventually enhance and encourage strategic thinking as well (not to mention improved abilities to excel in sports and other related activities)
Sports Develop Healthy Competitiveness:
In this day of age where participation trophies are the new normal, sports still has the ability to humble kids and teach them the value of humility.
As much as we all want to win, there will always be someone out there who is faster, stronger, and smarter than you.
Subsequently, the ability to deal with defeat, pick yourself up and try harder so that you keep improving has a huge benefit to those who master this ability.
Watching some 3 years old have a temper tantrum may be cute to some degree, however, watching an adult throw a fit is annoying, to say the least; I don’t have to tell you that there is nothing more annoying than watching a 30-year-old freak out in the workplace.
Bottom line? Teach your kids the value of humility while they are still young.
Improves Leadership Skills:
Let’s face it, not every kid will grow up to be a great leader the majority of kids will not develop great leadership skills at all.
Even so, developing some leadership skills is certainly attainable for practically any child out there.
And I’m sure I don’t have to remind you that having some leadership skills certainly places a child – your child – at an advantage in life.
According to child development experts having leadership skills means that your child will:
- Improve their communication skills that are essential in practically everything we do.
- Improve their awareness
- Improve their relationship building
Not to mention develop friendship and personal development. With all these benefits, is it any wonder why most parents see the value of sporting activities for their kids?
Sports Act As A Natural Stress Reliever:
There’s no doubt, in today’s modern lifestyle produces more stress than in any other period in human history.
And today’s kids are not exempt. Children today have much more stress than ever before in this age of internet and smartphone technology.
When I was growing up there was no such thing as cyberbullying, and many kids are depressed and suicidal. Body-shaming and other forms of abuse can now reach thousands of other kids all over the internet with the click of the mouse.
Rather than ignore this problem and hope your kids will not grow up to use drugs and alcohol as a way of coping with stress, teaching your children to adopt a healthier alternative will go a long way in healthy development right into adulthood.
Sports Help Develop Resiliency And Grit:
One of the things that attracted me to sports as a kid was the thrill and natural high of constantly improving and reaching new milestones.
I was never exceptional at any sport, but my athleticism allowed me to pick up quickly almost any sport I chose.
That said, picking up a sport and consistently improving within that sport are two different things.
There are plenty of professional athletes who started with very little skill and, through working hard and through sheer grit turned things around and became superstars.
This same determination and grit are easily carried over to all areas where a person needs to focus, work hard, and persevere until they reach their goal.
Many kids these days expect things to be handed down to them, and sadly as adults, many of these same folks will give up before they even start.
Sports Help Keep Kids Off The Street:
Perhaps one of the most important things for kids these days is to have a natural and positive outlet, and this can be accomplished through sports and sport-related activities.
There are countless stories and evidence that suggests that having a positive outlet greatly enhances a kid’s self-esteem and, subsequently, they are able to make healthier choices.
Rather than resorting to drugs, alcohol, sex, and other forms of reckless activities, sports create a way where children and teens can come together and work together using healthy competition to improve. This, in turn, help keep kids to remain focused and remain on the straight and narrow.
It’s clear from all the data including lived evidence that sports have the potential to do wonders for your child’s healthy development.
Although I listed 10 reasons why parents should put their kids in sports, I’m sure if you sat down and thought long and hard about it you could come up with many more.
And again, it doesn’t have to be super-competitive sports like hockey or football.
Sports like badminton, baseball, tennis to name a few have the same benefits to develop important attributes such as leadership skills, grit, hand-eye coordination, etc.
The bottom line: get your kids off the video games and enroll them in something positive today!