We all know the physical health benefits of sports participation, but it turns out, youth sports may be helping your child’s brain develop as much as their mind. Children born after the year 2000 suffer from a shortened attention span, largely due to round the clock screen time. Youth sports allows for a physical break and a reason to get out of the house, but it is also providing much needed lessons, especially for today’s kids. Here are the top 5 benefits you didn’t know your kid was getting from playing sports.
1. Making quick decisions on the field helps kids build confidence in their problem solving skills:
When your kid is on the ice or the field, there’s nowhere to google what to do next. Kids have to rely on themselves in order to make the best decision based on skills they have acquired through practice. This split second decision making not only builds confidence, but promotes not only effective decision making, but more assuredness in the decisions they make. Children who participate in youth sports are shows to have higher self-esteem and confidence in themselves because they are required to make lots of decisions on the field. According to Psychology Today:
"With greater time commitment, children develop better mastery of skills and superior knowledge of tactics and strategy. This can lead to the development of strategic thinking which is helpful in all aspects of life, including the ability to find and excel in the job market.”
2. Learning a new skills helps kids improve their discipline and concentration:
Sports teach kids early on that with time and patience comes results. Teaching children that being good at something is earned is one of the main benefits of participating in sports. Kids can see themselves incrementally getting better, and this instills a powerful message within them. In any aspect of life, having that discipline and ability to commit to something and improve is extremely important.
3.Engaging with other teammates helps kids develop good interpersonal skills:
Participating in youth sports helps kids become more confident interacting with others. This is particularly beneficial if your child is shy, because sports affords them common ground with other kids, and provides situations where they can interact with others who already share something in common with them. Children who participate in sports are better at handling both working with others and confrontation. According to Livestrong.com:
"Children involved in sports generally have stronger peer relationships and a better understanding of peers from different backgrounds. With this higher level of social support also comes a higher level of resilience."
4. Learning a new skill helps kids think outside the box:
Learning a new skill encourages our brains to stay sharp and focus on creative solutions to problems. This is enormously helpful for kids in school, and can help them be more creative in their future careers.
5. Playing sports helps kids Handle stress:
Sports can be stressful, and being able to go into a game understanding that stress is okay, and losing is also okay, is a huge life advantage for kids. According to an article done by Carleton University "Exercise has been found to relieve stress, depression and anxiety. Although often overlooked, children experience these emotions just as adults do and exercise is a great way to help combat these feelings.”