Other than just staying fit and healthy, engaging children in sports holds a lot of other incredible benefits. Children who participate in sports from an early age are more likely to engage in sports throughout their adult life and will continue to stay active and in shape.
There has been concern about children under the age of 18 participating in contact sports such as football, hockey or boxing training due to the risk of suffering multiple head injuries. But a lot of progress has been made lately when it comes to awareness and there is an overall better understanding of signs and concussions now and after all, these activities are proven to be less risky than skateboarding, snowboarding or even equestrian. Experts claim that the benefits of sports and being active from an early age on outweigh the risks of possible injury.
There is also the discussion, that preventing children from risks in their childhood might not even be in the interest of our future society. When doing team sports children actually learn to take risks given their own capabilities and especially through team activities, sports are an important part of socialization and teach the children to work together on achieving a goal. Research has found out that team sports can also help a child to succeed academically is it teaches goal setting and practice.
We have put together a list of reasons why kids can benefit from contact sports.
Learning to take risks
Learning to rely on a team and calculating risks are essential skills, which will be important in a child’s professional life later on. And learning this in early childhood might help them succeed in a career such as firefighters, businessmen or surgeons for example as knowing one’s own capabilities will help build self-esteem and confidence as well as social skills.
How to function in a group and interact with other children, coaches, referees and opponents will help a child to develop teamwork, leadership skills and good communication. Within a team, children will learn how to achieve a common goal together. They will learn to value camaraderie, respect and follow rules and guidelines. All of which can help for future academic and professional careers as well as personal relationships.
Succeeding in sports can have a positive impact on a child’s self-esteem and confidence as they will learn to estimate their own abilities and push themselves to be a valuable team member. By participating in a group activity, children also learn how to take criticism and to get back on their feet after being defeated. Being a member of a team might even encourage children to become leaders in later life, might it be at work or in the community.
Children who learn discipline through sports are likely to succeed in academics as well as they learn to listen to coaches, referees and teammates. Sports also teaches patience, discipline and to be punctual. By taking care of equipment and fields or arenas they might even learn to organize themselves and have a better understanding of the value of sports gear and equipment. Learning that practice and hard work will improve performance is an essential benefit of doing sports.
Sports activity promotes physical health already in early childhood and maybe your child will be more aware of eating healthy foods. They will learn that a balanced diet of fresh fruit and vegetables, lean protein and whole grains will make them perform better and give them the right energy boost rather than junk food. Regular exercise through sports will furthermore decrease the risk of childhood obesity.
As concussion injuries in contact sports have gotten more attention lately, it is important that children learn how to protect themselves and their teammates in order to prevent serious injuries. This can be done by discussing fair play, strict rule enforcement and precautions taken by popper equipment for maximum protection such as fitting helmets and pads. Parents, coaches and officials should be vocal about concussion symptoms and follow the treatment guidelines if a headache, dizziness or imbalance occurs.