When it comes to sports and fitness, Socrates said it best: “It is a shame for a man to grow old without seeing the beauty and strength of which his body is capable.” Team sports have been supported for generations for a variety of reasons, and are important not just for boys but for girls as well.
Your child may or may not be a natural born athlete, but regardless of his or her natural talents, it is healthy to involve your child in sports for at least a portion of their young life.
Some children love sports and take to them immediately, while others groan and complain. In addition, some kids have health concerns that the outdoor environment can aggravate. However, if it is possible, it is highly beneficial to expose your child to an athletic team environment. Here are just a few reasons why you should involve your child in team sports.
When it comes to team sports, the first word you may hear from those giving advice is going to be discipline. Everyone wants to have fun and do as he or she pleases, and none desire this more than a child. However, discipline is a part of life. Learning discipline early is one of the best ways to prepare a child for a life outside of sports, whether it be in academics, work, and even relationships. For many children and adults alike, pushing yourself to your physical limit and being willing to break out of what you believe to be your constraints is an incredible opportunity to encourage discipline. In sports as in life, there are many times in which we have to do things we don’t want to do. In fact, some people would argue that that is what most of life is about. Teaching your children discipline early by committing them to a sport will set them up for success later on.
Team sports have to, literally, make your child “think on their feet.” In the heat of the game, your child will have to visualize how to solve a problem. In any team sport, whether it be baseball, football, soccer, tennis, or more, your child will be forced to constantly trying to figure out how to score the goal with the cooperation of his or her teammates. The field or court is always changing, and so this practice will sharpen your child’s skill to think on and off the field.
When your child is part of a team, he or she does not exist in a vacuum. His or her skills are not enough by themselves, but instead, are part of a larger picture that includes and relies upon the skills of others on the team. It requires your child to want his or her teammates to be successful, so that your child too can become successful. Sports naturally urge your child to support his or her teammates so that they can drive each other to a common goal. When your child misses a game or practice, they are responsible for the athletic skill they do not gain, and the possibility of letting their team down.
Your child may be more independent in nature and may not have the drive to work as part of a team on a daily basis. He or she may prefer to sit in the middle of the field picking dandelions while their teammates struggle to defend the goal. This doesn’t mean your child is a failure. On the contrary, your child can gain many of the same skills, or different skills, through independent athletics. For many, running or yoga provide this alternative. Both are meditative sports that require focus and meditation. When responsibility falls solely on them, they only have themselves to thank or disparage if they fail or succeed. He or she can still learn the discipline of physical fitness, and even foster an individualist spirit.
There’s no getting around the fact that children’s sports leagues can present a hefty cost. Regardless of sport choice, you’ll likely be spending quite a bit on gear and equipment. To help them succeed and stay safe on the field, it’s important to invest in high-quality options, but there are ways to minimize cost. Instead of shopping at your local sports store, shop online. You can find virtually any piece of equipment required on the web: check out the catcher’s mitts online here for the little baseball star or browse soccer cleats online to ensure your daughter can run down the pitch with speed.
Children can benefit greatly from sports involvement. Encourage your child to try a variety sports to find the perfect fit.