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Should my child participate in sports?

This is a question that several parents probably ask themselves before enrolling their children in pee wee football, little league baseball, gymnastics and other youth sports. Paul Caccamo, executive director of Up2Us, says that, “Sports are more than a game; they are a set of life lessons. Kids growing up without them are really disadvantaged.” We agree that children participating in sports really do have an advantage. They acquire skills and lessons that could not only be used throughout their childhood but in their futures. Here are a few of the benefits of youth sports:


§  Health & Wellness: We are living in a world full of television and video games, which unfortunately creates couch potatoes. However, through sports, children engage in rigorous physical activity promoting good health and lifestyles. Parents are also prone to make healthier food choices for their children in order to increase their performance.

§  Goal-Setting: Children learn essential goal-setting skills when playing sports. They want to be successful, whether it is personal or amongst a team, so parents and coaches help the children set targets to reach those goals are personal successes.

§  Confidence & Self-Esteem: When a child feels as though they are succeeding at a sport, confidence and self-esteem building is inevitable. Children receive praise and congratulations from family and coaches when they have accomplished something (even if they didn’t win the game). This gives them the motivation to go back out and continue to work hard and accomplish more!

§  Time Management Skills: For adults, many of us strive for work/life balance. When children are involved sports, they learn critical time management skills that promote a realistic school/sports/life balance. They learn how to prioritize and multitask, skills many adults long for today.

§  Relationship Building & Teamwork: Children gain very important social skills through sport participation. They learn to get along and work as a team with other children from diverse backgrounds. In addition to social skills, they learn communication and relationship-building skills, which are great assets for their future academic endeavors, relationships and careers.

§  Adversity & Resiliency: Although winning is great, it doesn’t always happen. And although you try your best, mistakes may happen. Children learn to be resilient through failure and adversity and they learn the importance of getting back up and trying again. This is one of the most important things that a child can learn and it will stay with them throughout their lives.

§  Enjoyable Experience: With all the other benefits that sports has to offer, the most important benefit of youth sports is the enjoyable experience. Sports are fun! Children love them. They get to spend time with friends while doing something they really enjoy.

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