Physical activity benefits the development of children in multiple ways. By playing sports, kids develop physical skills, enhance motor skills, make new friends, and learn about play fair.
Sport is also good for kids’ mental wellbeing. They learn to feel good about themselves and improve self-esteem.
Unfortunately, many parents still do not understand the benefits of physical activity for kids. According to a 2018 study, 50% of kids over three years are insufficiently active, while 5% report no physical activity. Only 5% of children under 18 reported exercising 60 minutes per day.
In this article, we discuss the positive aspects of sports for child development.
Many research studies prove the direct relationship between regular physical activity and emotional wellbeing in children.
Regular exercise has a profoundly positive impact on anxiety, depression, and ADHD. It relieves stress, sharpens memory, and improves sleep. That way, it increases happiness levels and boosts kids’ overall mood.
According to researchers, exercising regularly decreases the symptoms of ADHD. It increases dopamine, norepinephrine, and serotonin levels, all of which increase motivation, focus, and attention. As such, physical activity benefits one’s mental health in the same way as ADHD medications like Ritalin.
Additionally, positive experiences increase kids’ morale and self-esteem. The support of the team, coach, and parents increases the sense of belonging and helps children feel better about themselves.
Multiple studies suggest that regular physical activity enhances self-esteem in children. Friendly gestures, such as a high-five from a teammate or praise from the coach, can boost their confidence. Coaches should always understand the needs of kids. In basketball, they should choose basketball sizes by age and asses kids’ abilities to determine the right role for them.
Still, coaches and parents should keep in mind that self-confidence should not be distinguished based on winning or losing. Children need to learn to accept their strengths and weaknesses. They should feel encouraged to achieve their personal best, no matter the situation.
Improving Social Skills
Team sports help children develop strong social skills, such as communication, collaboration, and teamwork.
Additionally, by playing team sports, kids gain a sense of belonging. That also increases their self-confidence and lets them make friends. As their friendship circle expands, their social skills will improve.
Learning Sportsmanship and Accepting Defeat
Whether individual or team, sports teach children about the importance of sportsmanship. Over time, kids learn that they cannot always be winners and that it is OK to lose sometimes.
Most importantly, they will learn to cope with losses. That increases their inner strength in tough situations rather than feeling defeated. They will learn to get back up and focus on increasing their performance.
Good sportsmanship is also important later in life. They will learn to stay competitive and, yet, not be sore losers. They will understand that respecting the rules is important, even when they are losing the game. That brings us to the next point.
In any sport, athletes are required to accept discipline, either mental or physical. Playing sports means kids will need to follow rules and take directions from authorities.
Most importantly, good discipline in sports helps children understand that there are always consequences for their actions. Over time, they will develop self-restraint and good discipline. Knowing they can be penalized for bad behavior, they will try more to play by the rules.
Understanding the Value of Teamwork
By playing sports, kids learn the basics of teamwork from an early age. They will understand that every team member’s opinions, feelings, and attitudes are equally important.
In other words, they will know that there is no I in a team. Only by working together can they learn each other’s strengths and weaknesses. That way, they can make more informed decisions and manage the team strategically. That is undoubtedly an essential skill that benefits their lives and careers.
Sports are Essential for the Development of your Child
Parents should remember that they play an important role in sports. Irrespective of the physical activity they choose, make it a positive activity for your kids. Focus on having fun rather than winning or losing. Never criticize them for making mistakes. Most importantly, do not encourage them to abuse other team members.
That way, you will encourage kids to develop a positive sporting attitude, boost self-esteem, and maintain a healthy lifestyle. These skills will benefit them on multiple levels when they grow up.
How do sports benefit the development of your kid? We are listening!
About the Guest Author
Eve Anderson is a marketing specialist turned blogger. Interested in sports and exciting travel destinations. Love to share content that can inform people.