Why Encourage Kids to Play Sport
Sport is an integral part of most children’s lives. Most schools advocate that children take part in at least one summer and one winter sport. Families are also becoming more conscious of the importance of partaking in some form of sport as a family. There are many reasons why sport should be encouraged. These include:
- Cardiac health and weight control: Cardiac health is as important for kids as it is for adults. Having a good workout and getting cardiovascular activity ensures that their hearts remain healthy, and it also helps to manage weight. Children are not as active as they were thirty years ago. Playing a sport with friends or family ensures that they get the workout they need. It also helps with blood circulation and provides oxygen and nutrients to vital organs, including the brain.
- Goal setting and practise: Another reason to encourage kids to play sport is because it teaches them to set goals and then practise in order to reach these goals. It teaches them tenacity and perseverance, and the feeling of accomplishment when they do reach a goal vastly improves their confidence in their abilities. They also learn not to give up after the first few failures.
- Cooperation: Team sports teach children to not only focus on themselves, but also on the other team members. They have to achieve a common goal and they need each other to reach it. This will improve communication. This is an essential life skill that will be used throughout the child’s life.
- Social skills: Many people (of all ages) make good friends through sports activities because they learn to communicate better and become more sociable in the process. They become more effective at interacting with other people of all ages – not only with team members, but also with coaches and other people involved in the sport.
- Increased self-confidence: When a goal is achieved or the child gets praised for performance, they get a feeling of accomplishment. This, in turn, increases their self-confidence. It gives them something to feel proud of, and they gain trust in their own abilities and talents. A good sense of self will also teach them to deal with feedback or criticism of their performance in a constructive manner.
There are many more reasons why you should encourage your kids to play sport, but these are some of the most important ones. If you want your child to learn more about goal setting, and to be healthier and more active, it is vital that they participate in sport. It is also highly beneficial for a family to practice some form of sport together – whether it is playing soccer in the park or cycling on dirt tracks – it brings the family together and provides a great opportunity for all family members to connect.