Any adult today who played sports as a child will tell you that the time they spent participating in sports had a lasting impact on their lives. And it is why those adults when they became parents, encourage their own kids to play sports when they’re old enough.

The adults who participated in youth sports remember the friendships they made, the lessons they learned about hard work, and the discipline they developed. It’s only natural that they would want to give those same valuable life lessons to their kids.

But beyond wanting to give their children a fun experience, they know that sports will help them build character and that competitive edge that will get them further in life. Here are 4 reasons why kids who play sports tend to do better in life:

 

Healthy Lifestyle

Obesity in adulthood is often the result of being overweight in their youth. Through sports, children learn about healthier lifestyles, and because sports is fun for them, they don’t even realize that they are exercising, something many adults dread. Sports keep kids fit and engaging in physical activity starts to become so natural for them that they continue to be well into adulthood.

 

Teamwork and Leadership

Team sports teach kids how to work well with their teammates. It also brings out the natural leader in them. Later in life when they are working in the real world, the skills that they developed in working together comes into play. A big part of being successful in life and work is being collaborative and working well with others.

 

Discipline and Resilience

Kids learn self-discipline through goal-setting in sports. They know that to improve their skills or technique, they need to work hard and practice. This helps them build character, particularly when things don’t always go their way and they need to deal with failure. They learn how to pick themselves up and keep going.

 

Respect

Sports teaches kids to not only respect authority figures such as their coaches or game officials, but they learn to respect their teammates, themselves, and rules. They grow up to be adults who recognize that rules or laws are there for a reason. And although competitive enough to drive towards their goals, they respect their superiors and the process it takes to get there.

Another bonus of participating in sports doesn’t apply to all, but it is worth mentioning. Sports can give your kids that competitive edge by improving their chances of getting into college through scholarships. Because participating in sports may be their shot at getting into the college of their choice, they are less likely to drop out of school or engage in delinquent behavior.