Are you considering youth sports for our child? Before you shy away because of the high demands, competition, or crazy parents please read our article.
Sports and youth sports have a long list of benefits including:
- They Build Self-Confidence & Self-Esteem
- Improves Problem Solving Skills
- Encourage Social Development
- Increase Commitment to Education
Beckett Broh, assistant professor of sociology at Wittenberg University in Ohio, published a study in 2002 in Sociology of Education that concluded that participating in athletics helps students perform well academically during high school more than any other extracurricular activity. She also believes: “They benefit developmentally in terms of building self-confidence and self-esteem and the ability to problem-solve; they develop socially in that they build relationships with students and teachers and parents that can act as resources for them in terms of their academics.”
How Does Youth Sports Produce These Benefits?
Building Self-Confidence & Self-Esteem in Youth
Weather your child performs in a group youth sport or a single participant sport they will build confidence. How? One way they build confidence is through success. When your child finds they have skills that apply well to a sport, and they see results, it causes a “Feel Good” emotion within them. They like how being successful feels and they gain confidence every time they succeed or gain positive feedback from coaches, parents, and peers. Another way to encourage an increase in self-esteem through youth sports is to encourage goal setting. With each goal your child completes their confidence will grow.
Improves Problem Solving Skills
Youth sports demand problem solving on a regular basis. Take softball and baseball as an example, every play has multiple variables: Multiple runners, a ball, speed of the ball, distance, …and the list goes on. Playing these sports require focus, memory development, decision-making, and all within seconds. Overtime the demand for these skills grows and your child will sharpen their problem solving skills.
Encourage Social Development
Group sports are a great example of how beneficial youth sports can be for Social Development. Not only are children in groups are 9 or more, they also have to learn how to work together to accomplish a goal. Sound familiar? This is one of the general skills most companies look for when hiring, can you work well in a group? Yes your ten year old might be a little young for a fortune 500 company, however it’s never too early to start building these skills and encouraging development. Especially when it’s incorporated into something they love to do.
“It is no accident that 80 percent of the female executives at Fortune 500 companies identified themselves as former ‘tomboys’ — having played sports,” the Women’s Sports Foundation says on its Web site.
Increase Commitment to Education
Parenting is a tough job, and we know you worry about education for your child. Some parents see sports as a disctraction from academics, we urge you to ignore these claims for a moment and hear us out. Did you know student athletes have to accomplish a certain grade point average and attend a certain number of classes to be eligible for play? It’s true! This regulation is upheld in almost any school, and requires students to focus in the classroom so that they can compete on the field. As a result of rules like these, students athletes have been known to take learning more seriously. They often report that they don’t want to let down their team mates by being ineligible.
Another great example of how youth sports can help in academics is in athletes who suffer from ADD, or ADHD. These athletes generally have a hard time in the classroom at an early age. Youth sports often help these students focus in the classroom by giving them an outlet. Sports are also a great way for them to learn skills in focusing and paying attention. Many exceptionally successful and famous athletes have been diagnosed with ADD and have said youth sports helped them learn how to cope with the affects. In fact, it has been reported that 10% of the pro athlete population have ADHD. Athletes on this list include Terry Bradshaw, Michael Phelps (the first American to win eight medals in a single Olympic Games), and Pete Rose.
If you found this article on Youth Sports to be helpful, or believe it could be a resource for someone you know please share it on Facebook, Twitter, or your favorite social media site. We really want to provide other parents and athletes the tools they need to be successful and optimize performance.