Five Reasons Why Your Child Should Play Sports

Youth basketball player dribbling a basketball during a YMCA youth sport league game.

They’re a part of nearly everybody’s lives in one way or another, but there are always a few people who aren’t sure of the benefits that sports have on people’s lives.

That’s particularly true when it comes to their kids. Some parents are afraid of the time commitment that comes with sports, or the potential for injuries, the competitiveness, or a myriad of other concerns. Those concerns are understandable, but the benefits of kids playing sports far outweigh the drawbacks.

Not sure about why sports should be a part of your kids’ lives? Here are five big reasons why you should start them in sports and never look back.

Sports are Fun!

...and that’s - by far - the most important thing. No matter what, you’re never going to have more fun than when you play sports. It’s a game, yes, but no games will ever teach kids more life lessons. They’ll look forward to playing their sport once they see how much fun it is.

Promoting an Active Lifestyle

Well, of course, right? It stands to reason that constantly being on the move will help develop athleticism and endurance, and eventually, kids will learn proper strength training and conditioning to keep them in top shape. That being said, sports also help promote optimal nutrition, especially pre and post-practices and games. Developing an active lifestyle early means that there’s a better chance that kids maintain it in the long run.

Learning to Overcome Adversity and Setbacks

In sports leagues there are winners and losers - the competition is a part of the game and also a huge learning opportunity. Youth sports can teach kids to tackle setbacks while challenging them to find new paths forward. How does a basketball team react when their down by five with 30 seconds to play. How does the football team that loses their star quarterback to injury make it to the Super Bowl?  

Time-management Skills

Games are always the carrot to dangle for kids, but there’s so much more that goes into it. How do they prepare for those games, and how do they still ensure that everything else gets taken care of? Telling your math teacher that you couldn’t do your homework because you had a game or skipping practice because you forgot to plan around your part-time job around it isn’t going to go over well. Kids learn from an early age that they have to prioritize certain things in order to get everything done that they want to and need to do in a certain amount of time.

Teamwork Makes the Dreamwork

It’s going to be awfully difficult for kids to achieve what they want in life without the ability to work as a team. Even athletes in individual sports have to train with someone and listen to their coaches. Athletes in team sports? They have to make a bunch of short-term and long-term decisions, all of which will affect the game’s outcome. Sports help a child’s decision-making and goal-setting, but most importantly, they’ll get to figure out their problems together.