Your Children Need Sports
1. Healthy Habits
It’s no secret, we are at a time in our society in which physical activity is at an all-time low for children. Unfortunately, it’s also a standard across all age groups, but it doesn’t have to be! Being on an organized team instills an early love and appreciation for physical activity. What a life skill to have so early in life!
Our tiny people are learning about who they are, how to navigate in this world and find their voice. There’s something about an organized sport to help pull confidence out of a child, and confidence is something your child will carry with them their entire life. It allows them to realize their capabilities on their own and grow into who they’re going to be. The adolescent years are challenging. Building up their confidence before peer pressure starts to become an issue will help soften those obstacles, and the sting of rejection. When you’re child is confident in who they are and what they believe, they are less apt to experience bullying.
A lot can be said about the amount of respect learned through being on a team. There are coaches, teammates, rival teams and referees/umpires. Having respect for others doesn’t mean you fold whenever someone of a ranking balks orders at you, but it does mean there are times when you simply listen. An early introduction will teach your child there is a time and a place for everything, and sometimes they won’t like what they’re told, but that’s life.
Being a member of a team means others rely on you because you have a role to play and a position to fill. Certain tasks need to be accomplished or else you will let your team down – talk about pressure to perform! To clarify, I’m not talking about needing to be an amazing athlete in order to learn responsibility. What I’m talking about is showing up. This is about knowing the importance of showing up and doing your best regardless of how difficult times get. That’s a standard life skill every person needs to have. Life will get hard and times will be tough, but that doesn’t matter because it won’t change anything unless you choose to show up and do your best to improve the situation.
There isn’t a much better feeling than seeing your hard work pay off, and a solid competition that makes you grit your teeth and do your best will do just that. As wonderful as it is to win, pride is there regardless because you know you gave it your best. Pride is there when you are the one to score a goal, or assist someone else in doing so. Those small victories your child will experience on the field will reinforce why they work hard and help them appreciate their achievements. It feels good to be good at something. It’s motivating to know hard work does eventually payoff!
6. How to Lose but Not Quit
Things have changed since I was a child. Nowadays, everyone gets a trophy at the end of a season, and some teams don’t even keep score. But the fact of the matter is you will have times when you win and lose in life. Just because you’re better than most at a skill doesn’t mean someone else isn’t better than you. We’re doing a disservice to our children by allowing them to think everything in life is fair because it’s not. They won’t always be a winner – they need to lose and learn how to do so gracefully. Being on a team allows for the opportunity to experience winning and losing, both of which are equally of value.
Let Them Play
I encourage you to get your child enrolled in an organized sport. You will notice a difference in your child pretty quickly and it’s a difference they’ll thank you for later in life. Organized sports not only get your child moving and enjoying physical activity, but it teaches them about who they are and what they like. Empower your child with the opportunity to navigate their way through these life skills without you to lean on. As much as we want to be the ones that teach our children everything, there are things we need to let them learn on their own or experience from others.