Naming the physical benefits of participating in youth sports is easy. But did you know that there are just as many social benefits in kids joining sports?

Here’s a look at how sports participation helps your child’s social development:

 

Self-confidence

Sports serve as a wonderful outlet for children to express themselves. A good coach encourages their athletes to not only have team goals but individual goals as well. As kids recognize their improvement in skills and meet milestones, they gain confidence. This enhances their well-being, inspiring and motivating them to try their best.

 

Interaction and Communication

Involvement in team sports means meeting teammates that can quickly become your child’s friends. Their interest in the sports gives them something in common. Kids who become friends on the field take their friendships off the field as well. And their teammates become their support systems at school and in their communities.

Through sports, kids learn communication skills as it is key in maintaining a functioning team. Communication isn’t limited to talking, but it is also about picking up on nonverbal cues and actively listening.

 

Teamwork

Teamwork is a valuable social skill that kids will carry with them well into adulthood. Through sports, they learn about cooperation and how to work well with others. This is a valuable skill that carries into their personal lives as they work with their classmates and later in life, their colleagues.

Kids who are part of a sports team are less likely to act selfishly. They make better decisions because they know their actions affect the team.

 

Responsibility

In a team sport, the players know the roles that they play and that their actions affect the entire team. Because of this, they know how important it is not to skip practice or ignore the coach’s directions. They know that failing to do their part means failing the team.

And beyond sports, they know that their participation in sports is considered a privilege. They know that they are able to play sports because they don’t neglect their studies or chores at home. And with responsibility comes learning effective time management skills – a valuable skill that will benefit them their entire lives.

 

Sense of Community

Because children who participate in sports have a stronger sense of self, they naturally develop a sense of community. They recognize that sports bring family, friends, and neighbors together. Sports build stronger relationships and better social interactions with all that are involved – from parents, coaches, teammates, and fans.