Benefits of Team Sports for Kids

By: Mollie Shauger | Thursday, October 17, 2019 | Youth Programs

basketball team

Team sports aren’t just about the physical benefits; they have a lot of mental benefits as well! At the YMCA, we encourage youth sports as a way to highlight the physical and mental benefits of sports for kids. Any way that a child can explore and develop lifelong skills is a great way to foster a healthy lifestyle at a young age. Not only this, but there is a direct correlation between youth sport participation and academic performance. Physical activity naturally increases blood flow to the brain and activates endorphins, or "feel-good chemicals." These chemicals increase mood and work performance, which is why encouraging kids to participate in youth sports is so important. Keep reading to find out some of the other known benefits of sports for kids.

A Natural Self-Esteem Booster

Whether it's a kind word, high-five, thumbs up, pat on the back, or head nod, all of these affirming actions are great ways to boost a child's self-esteem. Though it might not seem like much, these gestures of approval and support from peers go a very long way in building up a growing child's confidence. As a whole, being part of a team and contributing to the success of that team is one of the many reasons why sports are good for kids. Involvement in youth sports works to keep kids focused and allows them to make friends in the meantime. Additionally, many kids feel a sense of community and belonging when participating in sports. When people you trust are continually building you up and giving you recognition for your efforts, it's easy to become confident in your own abilities, and even excel at them!

The Critical Thinking and Mental Benefits of Youth Sports   

Due to each sporting practice or game being different every time, participants can apply many critical thinking skills. There are many things to take into consideration when competing, such as various game tactics or your opponent's strengths and weaknesses. Additionally, it takes a lot of critical thinking to understand the rules of the games you're playing entirely. Once the framework falls into place, the game becomes that much simpler. In realizing this, many children begin to excel at things outside of youth sports, such as practicing often at math or monitoring and evaluating their reading skills. When a child is naturally and efficiently practicing critical thinking from youth sports, they will likely carry those skills into other areas of their lives.

Teamwork Makes the Dream Work

A life-long benefit of sports for kids is the teamwork aspect. Teamwork is not just great during youth sports; it's essential for nearly every aspect of life. Learning how to work well with others goes far beyond sports. It is also a valuable skill that will carry over to the education and corporate worlds. When you learn at a young age that collaborating with others to reach a common goal can create big wins, you are likely to glamorize the efficiency of teamwork. Teamwork in youth sports teaches children to respect their peers, act in unselfish ways, not take the easy way out, and make good decisions on behalf of the larger team or group. It's something that will be incorporated into pretty much every aspect of adult life, so developing these skills at a young age is hugely beneficial.

Youth Sports Get Kids Off the Couch!

Maybe the single most significant benefit of sports for kids is the fact that it gets them up and active. In today's world, many children are always glued to some type of screen. Whether it's T.V., video games, an iPad or iPhone – it's not the best way they could be spending their time! When a child is excited about youth sports, they will be less likely to sit inside all day and be more inclined to want to go practice outside. Additionally, playing sports keeps your child active and in shape without even realizing they're working out every day. Whether its practice or a game, a base run or kicking of a ball, your child becomes healthier each time they participate in physical activity. Now more than ever before, it is great to start building stamina and endurance at a young age as a means to ward off childhood obesity and associated diseases.

The benefits of sports for kids is boundless. Not only are the physical benefits significant, but the mental benefits of sports are also substantial. Though it may not seem like it, when you allow your child the opportunity to participate in youth sports, you are giving them so much more! The Metro YMCA of the Oranges offers team sports for kids and encourages parents to take advantage of this valuable learning experience for your children. Visit us today to learn more!


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