5 benefits of sport for children
Facilities across the UK are investing a lot of time and money into installing and improving sports structures in a bid to encourage more people to get active. Sports and exercise are beneficial to everyone, but when it comes to growth and development, it seems that children especially have a lot to gain. There are many different ways you can support your child’s involvement in sports by attending games, giving them praise and encouragement and by joining in and playing or practicing with them!
Health and fitness is probably the most obvious benefit of regular exercise but you may be unaware of how many different health benefits there are. Improved blood circulation, stronger immunity and a healthy heart are just some of the health benefits associated with playing sports. Sports can also help children with weight management, diet and overall body positivity. Rather than focusing on the unrealistic and often unhealthy images shown in magazines and on TV, children learn to aspire to be fit, healthy and strong instead.
There’s no I in team! Sports teach children how to work together in a team and alone and how to interact with other children and adults. Sports give children an opportunity to make new friends and gain leadership skills and a sense of belonging from participating in group sports which will go on to help them build and maintain both personal and professional relationships in the future.
Self esteem and confidence
Getting a high five from their coach or a pat on the back from a team mate will do wonders for a child’s confidence. Sports also show children how to lose graciously and take criticism constructively. Performing well of course makes everyone feel great but it’s important that the focus isn’t on winning or losing, but on the effort they put in and the fun they have while participating!
Discipline and respect for others
Playing games like netball, football and tennis for example teach children how to follow rules, the importance of listening to adults and their peers and how to make decisions and accept those made by other people. When children participate in games and matches they are taught how to be “a good sport” and they learn how to build a mutual respect toward each other, regardless of whether they’re on the same team or not.
It’s no secret that children like getting their own way, but sports teach them that they can’t always get what they want and that sometimes they may even lose. Children are of course allowed to be disappointed, but they learn how to be more accepting, gracious and will less likely to have temper tantrums both on and off of the pitch.
Patience and dedication
Certain sports require a little patience, in more ways than one. On one hand, children learn to share equipment and wait their turn when taking parts in sports like baseball and athletics. On the other hand they will learn that becoming a star athlete won’t happen overnight and that in order to improve they’ll need to be patient and work hard at it over time. Children who are active throughout their lives will be able to take the dedication it takes to become good at a sport and apply it to different aspects of their life, this could help them academically, professionally and personally.