Do you know of the benefits of team sports for kids?
The Back to School mentality is at its strongest now.
Parents are stressed buying all the stuff their kids need for the new school year – everything from planners to sneakers.
But are you also spending time on the sport little Maud or David will be taking up? Will it be a solo or team sport?
My vote is 100% for team sports. If you want your child to get more than exercise, you should go that route too.
LIFE SKILLS THAT TEAM SPORTS DEVELOP
Let’s check out what the experts say about kids and team games.
can help children develop transferrable personal and social skills – citizenship qualities that they’ll retain throughout their lives.
So, the head start that such sports give kids later in life can no longer be ignored.
Team sports like soccer and baseball are like the layers in a well – made trifle. Each one is separate but blends harmoniously to tantalize the taste buds.
The coaching, training sessions, physical drills, and the actual games – all merge to grow in kids invaluable skills that lead to success later in life.
THE IMPORTANCE OF SPORT FOR KIDS
So, what’s the big deal with sport?
Let’s examine the facts.
It’s clear from these statistics recently released by The World Health Organization that obesity is on the increase in the age group 12 – 19.
The sedentary lifestyle of kids due to too much tech, TV, and junk food means that the obesity rates are likely to zoom even more in the future.
Ok, that’s my rant over. Back to the benefits of sports for kids.
This post puts team sport for kids under the microscope to help you understand:
– why team games are best for kids
– how skills acquired via sports lay the foundation for success in life
THE HEALTH BENEFITS OF TEAM SPORTS
Team games are an easy way for kids to have fun and keep fit and healthy at the same time.
Games like volleyball, netball, and hockey to name a few:
- Build endurance
- Burn calories and so reduce the risk of obesity
- Boost the immune system
- Strengthen muscles and bones
- Improve coordination and balance
THE SOCIAL BENEFITS OF TEAM SPORTS
The most obvious one is making new friends.
Being part of a team means being part of a community. Players of different backgrounds and personalities become teammates.
Kids learn to embrace differences for the good of the game. This allows for team bonding so that the game is played in good spirit.
Kids soon learn the strengths and weaknesses of their teammates and how to lend support to one another in a game.
Let’s take stock of the values gained simply from being a member of a team:
– discipline ( team training, one on one coaching, peer help )
– kindness ( not every child is a gifted player, some need to be ‘carried’ by
teammates to avoid being benched or dropped from the team)
Definitely values easily transferable to the workplace.
THE LIFE SKILLS GAINED FROM TEAM SPORTS
THE VALUE OF TEAMWORK
Look at the YouTube video on the efficient teamwork at Ferrari:
Let’s face it – your kids are in soccer or whatever sport – because they want to play. No one wants to be benched or substituted in a game.
So, they learn fast what teamwork means. Selfish play is frowned upon and humility is encouraged.
The team comes first. They may be backyard star dribblers, but come game day, they’re just a part of the team.
In this way, a strong work ethic and team spirit are built. Players realize the best way to help the team to success is by doing their very best on the field.
Cooperation with all teammates helps to win not lose games.
HOW TO PRIORITIZE
Never let your head hang down. Never give up and sit down and grieve. Find another way.
Children who play team sports make the team their Number 1 priority.
This ability to prioritize is a skill that will serve them well at school, university
and careers later in life.
Let’s look at an example
10-year old David has a little league baseball game on a Saturday. He has a quiz, a project, and a speech to prepare for in the same week.
But David has learned to prioritize and plan so that panic does not set in and force him to miss a team practice or hand in a project late.
He works ahead of the scheduled due dates and is able to meet his school
and team demands.
It is likely these kids will prove to be highly competent and efficient in the workplace too.
All because they played a team sport as kids. Sounds incredible, doesn’t it?
I kid you not. Seeds sown early bear fruit early and continue to do so.
RESPECT FOR AUTHORITY
Another great life skill kids involved in team games grow is respect.
Players learn that the coach is the boss.
Follow his rules or be benched or dropped from the team.
So respect for authority figures, like the coach and sports officials, is automatic.
They play the game by the rules, report
for practice and games on time or pay the price.
Respect for teammates is also drilled into players. All players are to be respected – captain and reserve alike.
Respect for the other team on match day is shown by taking the hands of players before and after a game no matter the result.
The schedule of many kids is more loaded than a Tower Burger. Kids have to juggle school, homework, family activities and sport.
Children who grow to love basketball or whatever sport they play, learn to manage their time skillfully.
Kids understand that procrastination will cause overwhelm. They create a schedule of all the tasks required of them.
As sports lovers, they develop the ability to hyperfocus. This helps them to get school projects and family chores done speedily leaving them sufficient time for sport.
The time management skills, of course, will assure them success in the workplace.
Obstacles don’t have to stop you. If you run into a wall, don’t turn around and give up. Figure out how to climb it, go through it, or work around it.
The goal of any game is to win. Kids soon learn that winning is the result of a series of steps which have to be mastered.
For example, to win a home game against another team, mini goals to improve skills with passing, dribbling, and shooting may be set.
They will have to be practiced to make the victory a reality.
Coaches often help players to set and achieve goals to bring greater skill to the team to ensure a win.
Playing team games allows players to acquire the vital skill of goal setting.
Imagine this kid applying this skill to other areas of his life. He is guaranteed success.
3Cs OF TEAM SPORT FOR KIDS
One of the main benefits of team sports for kids is the development of good values.
Great sportsmen like Michael Johnson ooze confidence. One reason is that they have practiced their skills until they perfected them.
When kids start playing sport at a young age, they practice, practice and practice some more.
The more they practice, the more confident they become of themselves both on and off the field.
They are able to talk confidently to kids and adults alike and often assume leadership roles in school.
Not every child who plays a team sport excels at it.
So when a player is tackled and loses ground to his opponent, there are often shouts of better luck next time.
Often, there is just a pat on the back or a fist bump to show compassion for the player who tried and lost.
A sports team is made up of children from all walks of like. They learn to communicate with all teammates even the ones they don’t like.
The vision is a win for the team so all differences are set aside as all players work towards that goal.
If you still need to be convinced, Jenn of simplyoneden.com explores the advantages of team sports for kids further. Her blog post Top 10 Benefits of Team Sports for Kids will clear any doubts you may still have.
This quotation sums up the lasting benefits of sport for kids:
Sports teaches you character, it teaches you to play by the rules,
it teaches you to know what it feels like to win and lose
-it teaches you about life.
Billie Jean King
Let’s recap on the why team sports are best for your kids. They learn:
– healthy lifestyle habits
– how to make new friends
– how to prioritize
– respect for authority
– effective time management skills
– to set and realize goals
– confidence, compassion, and cooperation
Many adults find life a constant battle without these skills. So, give your kids a wonderful start to a successful life by enrolling them in a team sport.
Do you have personal stories to share about playing team games? Share your story in the comments below.