Sports are a fun and engaging activity for both youths and adults that have several health benefits. You may think that children would be playing more sports as they're always full of energy, but in reality, 81% of adolescents globally aren't getting at least one hour of physical activity per day.
In the digital world of infinite content, it's not out of the question to say that some teens would spend hours, if not the whole day, consuming content from social media platforms. While social media does have it's positives, I think everyone can agree that spending too much time on social media can be an unhealthy habit.
Still not convinced? Here are 5 reasons why sports are important for youth and why you should get your children active!
Sports have always been a way of improving your physical fitness, but it's also a way to improve mental stress, especially in adolescents. This study, published in the Journal of Youth and Adolescence, found that students in grades 4 to 7 who participate in team-based extracurricular activities have higher levels of confidence, leadership, and competence.
If that's not enough to convince you, check out our blog on why sports can improve your mental health!
Sports not only require good physical health, but teamwork as well. There's no question that participating in team sports can build lasting friendships that go beyond the game. Team sports provide a great opportunity for youths to develop good social skills, a necessary skill that every successful person needs in life. By playing team sports, children and teens learn how to cooperate with others, work towards a common goal, and support each other through the good times and the bad.
The most obvious skills that sports teach would be hand-eye coordination, strength, and overall physical fitness, but sports teach many invaluable life lessons that can be applied anywhere in life. Skills such as humility, discipline, tenacity, teamwork, commitment, and handling pressure are all important life skills that are needed both in and out of the playing field.
The biggest reason for why parents may want their children to engage in sports would be to improve their physical health. It's no secret that playing sports will undeniably improve your child's cardiovascular health, but it can also set them up for an active lifestyle in the future. In fact, according to this article, adolescents who play sports are eight times more likely to be active at age 24 than those who do not play sports.
Sports can be a great way for adolescents to build their confidence at an early age. As they grow through small incremental achievements, they will start building personal confidence over time. This confidence will not only improve their ability to play the sport, but leak into other tasks in their lives as well. In fact, this article on early sports participation found that sport participation beginning in youth and adolescence improved physical and psychological well-being of individuals as they enter young adulthood.