The Benefits Of Playing Team Sports For Kids

We all know that extra-curricular activities are a great idea for our kids and most parents see it as just one of their many responsibilities to widen and deepen their child’s education away from school. Life isn’t just about learning your ABCs and being good at maths. There are lots of other skills that children can learn and develop away from the classroom.

Sports are a great example. We’re all aware that as parents we have a responsibility to encourage our children to lead healthy and active lifestyles. Not only will this help instil your child with a positive and healthy attitude to life, but it’ll have the added advantage of giving them great opportunities to burn off excess energy, so they won’t be bouncing off the walls at home (or at least, not so much!).

Aside from the physical benefits of learning a sport, there are many other benefits that children can gain when playing a team sport. For example, they can learn to respect their peers and work together with them as part of a team. For a child who is a bad loser when playing games on an individual basis, then playing as part of a team can really help them understand how it’s not all about winning or losing – how you play the game is more important.

A child’s confidence can also improve through playing a team sport. They may not be the best runner or the most talented at kicking, hitting or passing a ball, but by being a team member, they’ll be able to see how their contribution helps the team as a whole. And, playing with a team, they’ll have plenty of chances to improve their own physical skills through drilling and training sessions. Team sports are also a good way to bring shy children out of their shell. The coaches work with groups of kids because they enjoy teaching the sport and working with children – they’ll want to bring the best out of every child that they coach. It can be great developmentally for a child to be able to be instructed by an authority figure who isn’t their parent or their class teacher. With a sports coach, a child has a chance to build up a different kind of relationship than the ones they’re used to having with a grown-up. All of these aspects of playing a team sport can be beneficial for a child in developmental terms.

As for the sport that your child takes on, that very much depends on them. If they really have no idea, they could try out different taster sessions. Or perhaps you have a favourite sport that you’d like them to try out?

Ice hockey is a sport that not all parents would consider because of its rough and tumble nature. In the professional game, fights break out on a regular basis during a game which is competitive on the rink, in the stands and with ice hockey gamblers. However, for the very young players, it’s less of a contact sport and more of study in being able to stay upright on the ice, as well as control the stick and the puck, while getting used to wearing all the kit.

When the kids are first learning to play ice hockey, they don’t play real games of hockey. It’s more about developing skating skills and learning how to move around the rink. They play games of tag using the big sticks and the pucks and games of keep-away to develop their skating and hockey skills while having fun. And the physical nature of hockey is actually a great way for kids to let off steam and work off excess energy. After an hour on the rink, your little one will be exhausted – and that’s going to mean earlier bedtimes and more peace in the evening for you!

Of course, ice hockey is just one example. Your child might be keener to try out soccer or baseball. You should be led by them if they have a preference. What you should always be wary of, though, is pushing your child to do a sport they don’t want to do. A little encouragement is one thing; but no child should feel coerced to take part in what’s supposed to be a fun, free-time activity.

And there are plenty of sports that aren’t team ones that can each bring benefits of skills development, self-discipline and better physical fitness. For example, your child might want to learn tennis, golf or figure skating, or they might be a great swimmer. When they’re young, it’s really about giving your kids the opportunities to try out different sports rather than getting them to commit to one particular sport. As they grow and develop their physical abilities, they’ll figure out what sport they like best and decide for themselves what they want to focus on.

By encouraging them to get involved in a sport, you’re just doing what you can to give them the best start in life.

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Ida Arias said...

I agree, team sports are fantastic for children. They learn teamwork, good sportsmanship, sharing, how to lose, friendship, so so much!

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