Putting children in sports is a great way to help them socialize and get moving. Whether you sign your child up for dance classes, baseball, or both, this invaluable experience will create precious memories and shape their future.
Participating in sports can teach children many valuable life lessons. Here are five important skills and traits your child will learn through sports.
Learning to get along with others is a foundational skill that translates into school, work, and beyond. When your child joins a sports team or class, they’ll have to navigate social relationships and work with their peers to achieve a common goal.
Not only does the focus on teamwork help them navigate interpersonal relationships, but it also creates a sense of belonging. The shared experience of winning a basketball game or donning their identical Just For Kix gear and giving a stunning ballet performance creates shared confidence and inclusion.
One of the hardest lessons to learn in life is that things won’t always go right or be easy. In sports, your child will face challenges. Maybe it’s a skill that they struggle with. Perhaps it’s coming to terms with the fact that there are better players on his or her team. Losing that championship game builds character and teaches a valuable lesson: life is hard.
Perseverance is the act of pushing through those challenges and moving on. It’s the art of still trying your hardest to learn that new skill or focus on improving yourself rather than comparing yourself to another. Eventually, your child will learn that perseverance pays off.
How to Lose (or Win) with Class
There’s more to good sportsmanship than being respectful in a game. This is a life lesson that will impact your child’s overall character and relationship with the world. Learning to lose with grace is important. It teaches children to accept responsibility rather than casting blame and helps them create a growth mindset.
Winning with class is just as important. Learning to be respectful and humble is what makes a future leader. Help your child discover how to celebrate their wins without bragging or detracting from others.
The Importance of Physical Activity
As your child moves up in the world of sports, they’ll learn how important it is to prioritize physical activity. In competitive sports, failing to make time to train and exercise will ultimately put your child on the bench. Discussing why physical activity is important for both sports and life, in general, is essential during this time.
There are a lot of adults who regret not keeping up with the physical endeavors of their youth. Having your child participate in sports can be a life lesson for them, and a chance to model new behavior for you.
Practice and training sessions take time. Sometimes, participating in these events means missing other opportunities, such as birthday parties or family events.
Learning about making sacrifices and managing time teaches children responsibility. They learn that they’ve made a commitment to a team (or themselves) and have to stick to that commitment. It teaches them the responsibility of having their gear ready, being prepared and on time, and giving your best effort to your peers.
As much as sports have a significant impact on your child, it’s up to you as a parent to model the behavior. Practice what you preach and remember the valuable skills you learned during your own childhood sporting experiences.