Why your kids need to play sports

Shutterstock.com/ Robert Kneschke

Sports are an ever-present reality in our life. You may or may not enjoy watching and playing sports but as a parent, you shouldn’t let that influence how you raise your children. We have all heard of (and likely seen) those parents who try and live their dreams through their kids, forcing them to play tennis or golf from a young age. On the other extreme, there are parents who hate sports and as a result, never introduce their children to this part of life. Both are not being fair to their kids. Sports are an important part of life and can help your child grow into a well rounded and healthy adult. Read on to learn why it is important to introduce your child to sports from a young age.

Sports make you healthier

There are numerous studies that show adults who began play sports as kids were less likely to suffer from diabetes, obesity, and heart conditions. The correlation is not difficult to understand. Children who play sports tend to be more active and tend to carry that activity with them to later years. Those who don’t play sports at a young age may still run around and play games but as they get older they find they have less and less interest in doing so. Their interest likely shifts to reading, or online formats, and their exercise level drops. By introducing sports at a young age you are giving your child a better chance at a healthy and active future.

Sports are social

Making friends is tough at any age. As children, it can be difficult starting in a new school or new environment with people you don’t know. Children who play sports usually find it easier to make friends. They have a ready-made group of friends in their teammates and life long bonds can often be struck in these environments at a young age. Sports can offer a common theme for children to bond over. Playing sports and interacting with people outside of schools also teaches children to be better socially. This tends to help them engage with strangers better and form new friends easier, even one’s outsides of the sports environment. 

Sports and self-esteem

Most children would prefer to be better at sports than at school. This is not a good or a bad thing it is just a reality of today. This means that many children base their self-esteem on how they perform in sports. By introducing sports at a young age you are giving them the chance to be better at sports in years to come. If you don’t introduce them to sports when the time comes, and it will, they will take a hit to their self-esteem as they lack experience. Being good at sports can give children confidence and allow their peers to look up to them.

Sports and stress

Children shouldn’t suffer from stress or anxiety but many do. While this is a sad reality of modern life it is shown that sports can help deal with these issues. Playing sports is proven to not only relieve stress but also to provide children with the tools to deal with pressure situations. For psychological development in general, sports are proven to help children to learn and grow and become well-rounded individuals. 

It is clear then that sports are excellent for kids. However, you still must be careful. Remember you are introducing sports into your child’s life for their mental and physical well being. If at any point you notice they are too stressed, are not performing well, and are not enjoying it, allow them to quit. Don’t force your child to play sports that they don’t want to. This is something good for them but it should never be looked at as a chore, that defeats the purpose entirely.