There’s More Than 1 Reason Why Your Kids Need Sports
There’s more to your kids playing their favorite sport than donning a cool uniform or being the center of attention on the field.
Their participating is also more about keeping a healthy mind and body than having a place for you –the parent — to go to on a Friday night to cheer.
Today, it’s important for kids of all ages to get exercise and they can accomplish this through sports and gain more than you could imagine.
For example, regular physical activity benefits kids in many ways, such as helping build and maintain healthy bones, muscles, and joints; helping control weight and reduce fat; and preventing or delaying the development of high blood pressure. The benefits extend into adulthood. Exercise is one of the cheapest ways to stay healthy, with one study finding that exercise can prevent chronic diseases as effectively as medication (British Journal of Medicine, 2013).
Did you also know that physical activity is associated with improved academic achievement, including grades and standardized test scores? Such activity can affect cognitive skills, attitudes and academic behavior, including enhanced concentration, attention, and improved classroom behavior (The U.S. Government Accountability Office, 2012).
Check this out: High school athletes are more likely than non-athletes to go to college and get degrees; team captains, MVPs achieve in school at even higher rates (US Dept. of Education, 2005).
A number of other studies provide support that physical activity, and sports in particular, can positively affect aspects of personal development among young people: self-esteem, goal-setting, and leadership. However, evidence indicates that the quality of coaching is a key factor in maximizing positive effects (The U.S. Government Accountability Office 2012).
Parents of young girls might be interested in knowing that compared to non-athlete peers, female high school athletes are less likely to be sexually active, to use drugs, and to suffer from depression (Women’s Sports Foundation, 2004). The findings also revealed the benefits extend to the workplace. A survey of 400 female corporate executives found 94% played a sport and that 61% say that has contributed to their career success (EY Women Athletes Business Network/espnW, 2014).
When researchers from RWJF/Harvard/NPR asked about the positive effects playing sports has had for their children, they pointed to: physical health (88%), giving the child something to do (83%), teaching discipline or dedication (81%), teaching how to get along with others (78%), mental health (73%), social life (65%), skills to help in future schooling (56%), and skills to help in a future career (55%).