Keeping Them Active: Why Kids Should Play Sport
Sports and Fitness Industry Association worked with the data of children in the age range of 6-12 years.
It shows that the participation rate in sports has decreased by almost 9% in just 13 years (2008-2021). These are scary numbers!
My first child had a very hard time in school. Gradually she became less attentive, lost interest in food, and hardly smiled.
These are serious issues, and as a parent, I prioritized my child’s health before anything. So, I involved her in different kinds of sports.
Guess what? It worked like magic.
We grew up playing a lot of sports. However, children are growing a lot differently nowadays. Entertainment and activities are changing drastically.
Kids are now tied to their iPads and smartphones, chatting with their friends. Somehow active physical sports are fading away.
It doesn’t have to be this way. I got some suggestions and tips for anxious parents like me. Let me help you out.
Few Parents Think Differently
Many parents believe that adding extracurricular activities such as sports and games to their children’s education wastes their time and energy.
Playing sports includes competition, so it’s painful for parents to watch their kids fail.
All the parents want their kids to win at something, right?
I have a different idea regarding this. when we as parents do not allow our children to experience failure, we are the ones who are failing.
Adults often falsely believe that allowing their children to experience failure would damage their sense of self-worth.
We presume that since we want children to feel exceptional and hope they will succeed, we can’t afford to let them fail.
It’s the complete opposite, in fact.
Genuine and healthy self-esteem develops in youngsters when loving parents point out their abilities. It allows them to experience gratification from attempting new things and sometimes failing.
Struggle, setbacks, and ultimate success all contribute to the development of outstanding young people.
Why Kids Should Play Sport: A Parent’s Perspective
We can’t deny that the world our kids are entering differs greatly from the one we grew up in.
Our generation used to spend all day playing outside, particularly during the warmer months.
These days, however, our children sit in front of screens all day long. Whether it’s for schoolwork, socializing, or entertainment.
Kids today are becoming more used to spending long periods seated in front of a computer or smartphone.
However, that’s not how things should be. Instilling a love of sports and participation in a team activity in your youngster only takes some time and persistence.
Here is why kids should play sports-
Mastering Good Sportsmanship
Life’s positive and negative aspects are easier to endure for kids who participate in sports.
In sports competitions, they will sometimes win and occasionally lose.
It requires maturity along with experience to become a tolerant loser with enough willpower to improve.
Experiencing setbacks like missed shots or bad calls is necessary to develop resilience in children. It helps them to deal with negative emotions and move on from adversity.
Youngsters may develop emotional regulation skills and constructive stress outlets via sports participation.
Like, a young baseball player will have much things to learn. However, they will learn way faster and you will be amazed to see the progress.
Encouragement Of Physical Activity
Naturally, staying active helps youngsters maintain their fitness levels and develop their physical prowess and stamina.
Physical activity has several health benefits for youngstars.
A few examples would be:
- fat loss
- weight management
- stress relief
- bone density improvement
And like 90+ more benefits!
If children begin leading more physically active lives at a young age, they are likely to continue doing so as adults.
Together, We Can Do Anything
Working well with others is an essential skill for life. It also serves as a crucial part of sports played in teams.
I think, kids involved in sports are better in a few things. Such as:
- able to build meaningful relationships
- learn to work together
- feel a part of something bigger
- appreciate those who guide them
Even in solo sports, players learn how to collaborate under a coach and form bonds with other players.
Ability to Manage Time
Making time commitments while participating in sports helps your youngster get early experience in time management.
Joining the next day’s game is only possible if the homework is done. Just realizing that would motivate kids to do their schoolwork on time.
As a result, your youngster will begin to self-regulate and set priorities.
Improvement In Social Skills
Your children are engaging in a kind of social interaction when they take part in a sport-related activity.
Their social skills will naturally grow and improve as a result of their daily interaction with their coaches and teammates.
They will benefit from this knowledge for the rest of their lives. They will always know how to behave appropriately in any kind of social setting.
A Healthy Mind Ensures A Healthy Body
Your child’s self-esteem may grow with support from encouraging coaches and fellow players.
Maybe you’ve seen a coach give a player a slap on the back as he exits the field or a player high-five a teammate after they’ve both just scored.
Your child will feel fantastic about their accomplishments during the game if rewarded with these little gestures.
The kid’s confidence and outlook will both benefit from participation in sports.
In one research, participants were asked about their exercise habits on days ranging from zero to seven. Depression (feeling down for two weeks or longer) was only present in 25% of the participants in the initial group.
Three-fifths of the less physically active group, however, reported experiencing sadness. Therefore, sports are good for kids’ emotional well-being in addition to their physical fitness.
What Is The Best Age To Put Kids In Sports?
You might be keen to introduce your young children to sports.
However, you and your kid may experience frustration if you exert too much pressure on them at an early age.
Children often do not develop the motor skills necessary to participate in sports unless they turn a minimum of 4 or 5 years old.
Furthermore, most children are unable to comprehend the fundamentals of a sport until they are between six to eight.
Keep in mind that kids grow in various ways.
Just because your kid can’t kick a soccer ball like a pro by the time he or she is four is not proof that they can’t be an athlete someday.
Keep these age recommendations in mind. You may play with your children while they are younger.
You will get better chances to teach them the fundamentals of the sport before joining a team.
Like, a child as young as four or five may pick up the basics of baseball with the help of a wiffle ball and a plastic bat.
They may practice catching a ball tossed straight to them or putting a basketball through a hoop designed for children.
Also, it looks amazing when they wear the baseball gloves and get into the game!
Your kid can participate in a recreational league where the primary focus is on having fun. Kids will naturally prefer learning the basics rather than winning when they are six or seven years old.
I recommend your kids start participating in organized team sports no earlier than the ten years. Your kid will be emotionally fragile in the years leading up to that point.
They may suffer psychologically from being compared to other youngsters and even being cut from the squad as a result.
Would You Force Kids To Play Sports: What Psychologists Say
I understand your concern, but forcing won’t help it.
Instead, you should use gentle encouragement but no force. It would be great if they like the sports.
The best way to pick a sport that suits your children is to observe what they do in their free time.
Some young people love playing rugby. Why?
Because they like chasing after a ball, letting go, and then tumbling all over each other when they catch up.
This means you need stamina, ball skills, and a willingness to tackle kids.
If your kid likes the beach, try swimming, or if they’re dancing to the radio, try dance classes or gymnastics.
See if pony rides suit them if you find them daffy about animals. For the quiet type but athletic kids, try golf.
If they are fierce, with great hand-to-eye coordination, then think tennis.
You will get the idea. Observe to see what they enjoy doing, then find a sport that uses those skills.
Be prepared that they will want to try different sports as they get bored with one, or their skills don’t develop with their peers.
Tips On Getting Your Kids Into Sport
Rather than trying to force your kid to participate in sports, you should try to encourage them and set an example by playing sports with them.
- Put an example in front of your kids that will influence them. Keep in mind that children learn from what they see in their parents.
- Participate in sports together. You, as a parent, set the tone for your child’s view of sports as enjoyable or not enjoyable. As a parent, you may instill in your kid the value of sports by participating in enjoyable physical activities with them.
- Be lighthearted. Nobody enjoys having to do anything unpleasant. Just as your children learn the value of sports by seeing you engage in them, they’ll also pick up on the reality that sports are enjoyable by observing others take pleasure in them.
- Don’t make him give up his favorite activity; instead, use your imagination to devise a fun little game you can play together.
- Consider how you may help make your home suitable for a pastime your kid likes.
- Try not to dwell for a long time on one thing or another. When activities go on for too long, children begin to lose interest.
How Would I Know My Kid Needs To Quit A Sport?
It may be time to quit if your kid is showing signs of anxiety, being hurt often, or losing interest. Try to read your youngster and observe all his or her moves and attitudes.
What Age Maximum Kids Quit A Sport?
According to research by NAYS (National Alliance for Youth Sports), nearly 70% of kids step down from participating in sports by the age of 13. So, parents and teachers both should be influential and inspiring to make them understand the value of playing sports.
Kids should have a healthy lifestyle. Including sports in their lives makes the process much easier.
Limit your kids’ screen time to have time spent playing sports they like. Especially from a younger age, you should try to get them into playing every day rather than sitting at home holding the smart gadget in front of them.