Playing sports as a child can have a huge impact on life. In fact, the mental, social, and physical benefits are well documented. Therefore, it is important for parents to encourage their children to take part in organized sports. Below is a look at how exercise can improve a child’s quality of life now and into adulthood.
In America, about 60 million children participate in organized sports every year. Whether they’re running across the field to score or running bases, these kids can benefit a lot by participating. Many have learned firsthand the value of hard work if they want to improve, or responsibility because they can be counted on for team success. Other life skills they can acquire include integrity, confidence, and effective communication as they navigate challenges with their teammates. These invaluable qualities can help them succeed later in life when pursuing career aspirations.
One of the most prominent benefits is physical fitness. When they run to catch the ball or outmaneuver their opponents, they not only have fun, but also reduce their risk of heart disease, type 2 diabetes, and even cancer. Such exercise is essential for healthy development, both physically and mentally. That’s why health experts recommend giving children one hour of exercise every day. A 2019 study found that children who don’t exercise are twice as likely to have mental health problems — particularly problems related to anxiety and depression — compared to those who reach the recommended amount.
Playing for the high school team, as nearly 8 million American teens do, also has its advantages. For one thing, according to national reports, athletes are less likely to engage in unhealthy or risky behavior. The report also found that students who don’t spend time in extracurricular activities are 37% more likely to be parents to teens. Another 49% were more likely to use drugs. However, these numbers increase dramatically with just four hours of practice or one other extracurricular activity per week.
How can parents get their children interested in sports? Best practice is to lead by example. Children respect their parents and when they see them competing in sports, they naturally want to take part. Another guideline is to stay positive. A negative attitude towards performance or disrespect towards coaches, managers and other players proves to be very disappointing. Parents need to focus on the rewards of teamwork and fun if they want their children to get the most out of this experience.
For more information on the value of athletics for children, see the following resource by Axio Athletic.
This infographic was created by Axio Athletic, provider of custom slowpitch softball jerseys