Children in Sports: Too Much or Just Enough?

From my personal experiences, being involved heavily involved in sports at a young age made for a happy childhood.

While many children are put into sports at young ages, many are also left out.

I believe that for parents, it would be a smart idea to involve their children in a sport because of the many positive benefits it offers children.

From the website American Academy of Child and Adolescent Psychiatry, putting children into sports at a young age can help them develop physical skills, exercise, make friends, have fun, learn to play as a member of a team while learning to play fair and improve self-esteem.

These reasons all seem like a great way to help children to improve and grow.

No matter the sport, whether it be soccer, track or dance, all will help children learn and grow with a better skill set for life.

An article titled, “Why Should Children Play Sports?”, mentions many different reasons children can benefit from participating in sports. Most are the same as mentioned above, but I want to bring up a few more that were pointed out.

Participation in athletics can help children excel in academics as well, since being taught principals of dedication and hard work through athletics. They are then able to apply these skills to their school work as well.

Women who played on a high school sports team, then increased their chances of graduation from college by 41 percent. However, this topic can be controversial because some don’t believe it’s smart to involve children in sports while they are still growing and developing.

This involvement of young children in sports is causing them to be more prone to injuries because they are less coordinated and have slower reaction times.

Some parents will tend to push their child too hard while getting them involved in a sport and this can then cause the child to not want to be involved at all. Not every child is going to be an athlete as well some are athletically inclined, and others not so much. This, however, does not mean that all hope is lost in the sense of having a good system to help them learn and grow.

Children have many other activities such as music, art or other areas that they can get involved in. Letting children explore and not be pressured into something they don’t feel comfortable in, then opens opportunities for the child to discover likes and dislikes and later individual skills will come.

While there are both benefits and downfalls to having children play sports, in the end, the decision should be up to the child.

There is a multitude of different activities to involve your children so why just choose sports. As mentioned before, music, art and much more can help your child to learn and grow in healthy ways.

From experience, I think the best thing my parents did for me was let me try all sorts of different activities. I was placed in many sports at a young age and from those experiences, I was able to choose what I liked best.

A few years later I discovered that I also had an interest in music and was then involved in playing the viola for six years. Whether I was playing in a soccer game or a musical performance, I was able to learn many different things from both and make a variety of different friends.

This is important as you get older as well. Extra circular activities can benefit even adults. Having an activity that you are committed too, gives you something to try and excel in outside of work and school.

The bottom line here is to get your child involved. The website Child Development Institutestates that children who are involved and who have involved parents are “less likely to get into mischief, have emotional problems, or have problems in school.”

Involvement in sports, music or other extracurricular activities, will all benefit children and their parents, as well.

Story by:
Amber Bischoff

Photo by: 
NeONBRAND on Unsplash