June 5 2017
How sport participation can promote healthy development in children and life long habits
Millions of Americans play sports for a number of different clubs and teams every year, varying from recreational to competitive sports, and these activities provide numerous health benefits. Exercise is more than just running or kicking a ball around a field, it also helps our body to function more smoothly and efficiently. It has been proven that playing sports and taking part in physical activity is fundamental to the healthy development of children. This helps to positively shape a child through the development of important values, skills and habits that can be carried on into adulthood.Here are just a few of the many benefits of participating in sport:
Learn the importance of teamwork, fair play and following rules
Children who participate in team sports learn the importance and strength of working together as a group to achieve a common goal. Attributes that team sports develop are sharing and patience. Sports such as kickball, softball and baseball will teach children the value of waiting their turn. While football, soccer and basketball teach children that sharing the ball is more beneficial to a successful outcome rather than being selfish and playing solo. What makes sport great is that there are rules to adhere too and there are behaviors that are acceptable or not. If you break the rules there will be consequences, such as a penalty in soccer, or time spent in the penalty box in hockey. The beauty of this is that children learn to be accountable for their actions. They also learn that those actions do not just punish them as individuals, but also their entire team. This is a powerful and important message to learn at a young age. These values and social skills are important to learn because they will carry on throughout a child’s life as they grow up.
Helps develop and improve cognitive skills
Playing sports and being active has many health benefits, including helping build and maintain healthy bones and muscles and reducing body fat. But did you know that organized sports can help children develop and improve cognitive skills too? These skills are often overlooked but are extremely important to the development of a child. According to research, physical activity is associated with improved academic achievement and can affect attitudes and academic behavior including improved concentration, attention and better classroom conduct (GAO, 2012).
Team sports are also a fantastic way for children to build social skills and develop friendships. In order to be a good team, you need trust and trust develops from friendship. This is why team sports are great vehicles to meet and gain new friends which will last a lifetime.
Develop long-term participation in physical activity
According to Psychology Today, habits that develop early in life can be difficult to change, which is great news if you’re trying to maintain healthy habits you learned at a young age. Having children participate in sport helps build exercise habits that encourage life-long participation in physical activity. By creating healthy habits, children are more likely to stay active later on in life. Sport will flow from being something they do for fun as a child, into a more competitive nature as they grow older, then into social or recreational participation as age creeps up on them. Sport should be enjoyed and participated in from age five to age 95! Your mindset, relationships and health will be better for it!
For all these reasons and many more, it is always a great idea to get involved in sport! So search for a sport that you or your children are interested in, find a club/team near you and join up. The sports managers/administrators at all clubs will be thrilled to have more athletes and interested people on board. It will be the best decision you will make!← back to News