Why Kids Should Participate In Youth Sports

December 23, 2014

When you are weighing the cost and time commitment of putting your child in a youth sports program, it's vital that you understand the benefits of participating in sports before making a decision. From helping kids learn about teamwork to giving them the ability to push through problems and adversity, youth sports is a great gift to give your child. Here are some reasons why kids should participate in youth sports.

Youth Sports Are a Crime Deterrent If you could do one simple thing that would lessen the chances of your child committing a crime later in life, would you do it? Of course! That thing just might be team sports. According to Kids Play USA Foundation, kids who play sports are less likely to be involved in a gang, break the law, abuse drugs and even skip classes. Sports can be a deterrent to many negative behaviors that have lifelong consequences for your child. Youth Sports Can Be a Grade Booster It may seem like kids who are in sports will do worse in school because of the time they dedicate to their sport, but this is not the case. Kids who participate in youth sports are more likely to do well in school and, on average, score higher on national tests than non-athletic children. In addition, being in a sport increases a child's chances of graduating from high school and going on to college. Youth Sports Provide Career-Building Skills You may not think of basketball as job prep, but kids who can learn to persevere on the court are more likely to persevere in their careers. Pushing against competition, learning to come out on top, even from behind, and learning to deal with failure are all benefits associated with competitive sports. Sports Provides a Mental Health Benefit Childcare expert and blogger Kenney Meyers indicates that kids who play sports get a mental boost. "Children learn how to deal with the losses in appropriate ways, which can lead to better emotional control off the field. Team sports have been found to enhance a child's brain development and possibly raise IQ," he says. Youth Sports Provide a Social Skills benefit Finally, children who participate in youth sports are better equipped to deal with social challenges that life throws at them. According to Patrick Cohn of the Ultimate Sports Parent, "Young athletes learn to work together, acquire leadership skills, get a sense of discipline and learn communication skills." These are skills that assist children in all areas of life, well into adulthood. As you make the decision about whether or not to put your child into a sports program, don't forget to weigh the benefits. When you stop and think about these benefits, the commitment of time and money seems like much less of a sacrifice. With the right program, you can give your child the skills he or she needs to succeed — not just in school and athletics, but in life!

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