Studies have shown that when children get involved in team sports, their overall educational experience is greatly improved. But what about the child that isn’t a natural athlete or doesn’t enjoy playing on a team, are there still benefits to be had from playing team sports? The short answer: absolutely! Here are five lessons team sports can teach your child.
- Team sports can teach your child about the bigger picture.
At some point in life, everyone goes through challenges. It can become easy to think that the choices you make only affect you, but as it turns out, that simply isn’t true! Team sports teach you about a sense of camaraderie and belonging to something bigger than yourself. When you play sports on a team, you quickly learn that every choice you make has impacts your teammates and your opponents!
- Team sports can teach your child to be decisive.
Making choices can often be difficult. But the truth is, human beings often over-complicate very simple decisions. Playing team sports causes your child to reason and come to a conclusion at a quicker pace than they might in their day to day life. As a bonus, making quick decisions can help develop a sense of self-confidence in your child that they may not readily develop otherwise.
- Team sports can teach your child to bounce-back.
It’s always exciting to win in life. But sometimes the greater lessons come from your losses. If your child plays team sports for any amount of time, it is highly likely that they will experience their fair share of losses. Each of these losses are an opportunity for your child to learn about being gracious, moving on and trying again!
- Team sports can teach your child that failure is never final.
Everyone experiences the consequences of a poor choice from time to time. Learning from your failure can feel like an impossible feat when it is something you have never experienced before. But team sports teach that great comebacks really do happen and failure is never final if you refuse to give up!
- Team sports can teach your child to put others first!
Perhaps the most important lesson that team sports can teach your child is how to prefer others. There will be times in life that your child may have to settle for being second-best for the greater good. This can feel like defeat if you don’t grasp that there is often more at play than you can initially see. Sometimes the most gratifying choice you can make is the one to help others even when it is inconvenient. Learning compassion and self-sacrifice is a lesson your child will certainly carry throughout the course of their life!
Your child doesn’t have to be athletic to succeed at sports, it is important to remember the countless intangible benefits of team sports when your child starts competing. Look for teachable moments in their games and do what you can to reinforce those at home and you will certainly see the positive impact of team sports on your child’s life!
Fitness for Kids Who Don’t Like Sports (Kids Health)
Children And Sports (American Academy of Child and Adolescent Psychiatry)
Changing the Game: The Parent’s Guide to Raising Happy, High Performing Athletes, and Giving Youth Sports Back to our Kids