Most of us want our kids to be the next Olympic gold medalist or NBA all-star, but there are a couple more practical reasons to enroll your kids in sports. Here are a few:
They learn life skills
Being in a sport, especially a team sport, teaches your child about team work, taking turns, and getting along with people, even if you don't like them. While playing sports, your child will learn to sacrifice to help the team. That may mean playing a position that is not their favorite or sitting out so everyone can have a turn. No matter how many times we as parents tell our kids to stop fighting or to share, it doesn't seem to have the same effect as when a coach or teacher says the same thing.
Playing sports as a child could mean dozens of scholarships as a student. If your child becomes a talented athlete, they have the chance to pay for four years of school through a sports scholarship. In addition, they will get to play their favorite sport through college.
Most high school and college athletic teams require their athletes to maintain a certain GPA. If they fall below that requirement, they can no longer be on the team. This promotes the importance of grades and having good study habits. It is a good way to help your child stay motivated to keep up their grades if it means they get to continuing doing a sport they love.
They experience disappointment
It can be hard to see your child lose, fail, or be sad, but it is actually good for them. Life will hand them a lot of disappointments. It is important to know how to handle and overcome losses. Playing sports teaches children right away that they will not always win. Whether they lose the big game or get cut from their soccer team, your child will be stronger because of it. Make sure to promote good sportsmanship in your home and on the court or field to teach your kids how to handle disappointment well.
One major benefit of playing sports are the healthy habits your children learn. Eating healthy, drinking lots of water, and exercising are important parts of playing sports. Teaching your child at a young age to care for their body and stay healthy is an easy lesson to learn when on and off the field. Make sure your child maintains healthy habits while competing. If you see signs of unhealthy behavior such as stress, dehydration, or improper eating habits, address the problem immediately.
They make friends
Playing on a team helps your child make friends. Working with other kids their age towards the same goal builds strong relationships that will stick with them. They will develop the skills needed to make friends in social situations that may be outside their comfort zone. This skill will carry with them into adulthood.
If you ever question whether it is the right thing to enroll your child in a sport, just remember, it is much more than just a soccer team or karate class. These practices and games teach skills that will help your child face the challenges and stress of adulthood.