Sports not only make a great spectator activity, they are great fun to play too. With debate raging across the world about activity levels, obesity and lack of new talent for professional teams there are already some very good arguments in favour of children playing sports. If you still aren’t convinced, here are five very good reasons why all children should play sport.
The benefits of an active lifestyle are many and they include a healthier body, healthier habits, longer life expectancy, active mind, stronger immune system and happier children. Getting children into the habit of being active while young can create a way of life that benefits them throughout their adult life too.
With so many sedentary hobbies now available to children, the earlier we get them thinking that physical activity is good, the better.
Childhood is a tough time. There is a lot going on and children don’t always understand much of it. This can lead to confusion and depression. Self-esteem is a known challenge for children of all ages and is something sports can help with. Participation in sports encourages achievement and effort, which is rewarded with praise and positive endorsement from peers. Constructive criticism teaches children how to handle critique much better than those who don’t play sports.
The ability to take criticism and use it constructively and not take it personally is one of the most important skills a child can learn!
Social skills and leadership
Team sports demand co-operation, teamwork, communication and sometimes, leadership skills. All benefit children by building essential skills that will take them through later life. All these skills are essential in family relationships, career relationships and becoming parents themselves.
Being able to effectively communicate, lead by example, take advice and deal with people of all ages are all essential skills any child can benefit from.
Playing sports is a natural stress reliever, both the sport itself and the exercise it induces. In a world where academic achievement is harder to attain and where more and more is expected of our children, this release valve is an essential coping mechanism.
Childhood is stressful and being able to release that stress in a safe, controlled environment can reduce the chances of a child turning to other outlets to blow off steam.
Last but certainly not least is the fun aspect of sports. The days of being able to play football in the street are long gone for some. As are the days of being able to walk around the island on your own exploring the beaches, caves and villages. Sport is a fun activity that is certainly more engaging than video games and serves as its own reward.
Fun is an essential part of childhood and the ability to throw off their troubles, play with friends while doing something constructive is the best of all possible worlds.
Those are just five of the many reasons we should be encouraging our children to play sports. I’m sure you can come up with plenty more!