The Benefits of Physical Activities and Sports for School Children

When it comes to the topic of after school sports and physical activities, many parents are often hesitant about letting their children participate. What if they do not do well at the sport? How true is the stereotype of a cutthroat little league coach or an aggressive teammate? What if my child injures themselves? And while all of these questions are only natural for a parent whose child is entering the world of sports for the first time, the truth is, when it comes to children participating in physical activities, there are far more benefits to consider than risks.

Today’s generation of kids spends far more times indoors or sat in front of a computer screen than any other generation before them. Given this fact, it should be no surprise that we are currently fighting one of the worst cases of child obesity in history. And what better way to get your kids off of the couch and on their way to better health than to enroll them in sports?

It is no secret that sports offer children plenty of health and physical benefits. However, what many parents do not often realize is the large amount of other benefits (social, emotional and physical) team sports can have on school children. Plus, for all of the parents who worry about their child’s skill levels at certain activities, these benefits are the same whether or not your child actually excels at the sport. If you are thinking about enrolling your child in a sport or physical activity this fall, we have put together some of the most important ways in which these activities can benefit your child in the long run:

 

Learn To Play Fair And Follow Rules

One of the most important lessons a child can gain from participating in sports and team activities is how to play fair with others. For instance, sporting events provide children with a great opportunity to learn how to handle competition, anger, frustration and even disappointment in the right fashion. Plus, when they see the mature ways that coaches, parents and officials handle these feelings, they will likely mirror them to solve conflict in other areas of their lives.

 

Encourage Good Social Skills

Team sports help kids to develop social skills and encourage positive interactions with coaches and other athletes. Activities that involve a lot of other children will also provide your kids with a chance to build new friendships outside of the classroom, and teach them how to manage themselves in a social or group environment. These types of interactions also act as the groundwork for similar social situations that they will encounter in the future.

 

Promotes Good Behavior

When children are involved in physical activities, they will carry a lot of what they learn into other aspects of their lives, such as their relationships, school work and self esteem. For instance, girls who are involved in sports often exhibit higher self esteem and self confidence than their inactive peers. These girls also had a more positive body image. If your children are not yet at the level where they can play school sports, or you are simply looking to encourage physical activity in a separate environment, be sure to contact your local YMCA about their youth sports programs. YMCA youth sports encourage and promote healthy kids, families and communities by placing a priority on family involvement, healthy competition rather than rivalry, the value of participation over winning, team-building as well as individual development, a positive self-image and mutual respect for others.

Authored by: YMCA of Metropolitan Dallas