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Youth sports participation have really started to decline in recent years with young people starting to adopt more sedentary lifestyles. With video games and many other indoor hobbies starting to surface for young people many have started not to give sports a shot. As well as the risk for sometimes permanent injury has caused many kids and parents to question how much sports is really worth it. However, there are many positive effects of participating in youth sports as a kid.
One of the most obvious one is improving teamwork for a kid. With many other things like video games being an individual experience in a young person’s life sports requires teamwork with kids having to find some common ground to be successful this is when many kids learn the lesson that sometimes you aren’t judged be what you do individually you are judged by what the team accomplishes. For example, if one kid on the team has a very good game but his team is blown out very few people are going to be happy with that result.
Another thing that sports teaches you is that you’re not always going to win while many times if you’re a talented athlete especially in youth sports you may be able to have some team success but sometimes the other team is just better and sometimes you may have to change the role you have on the team for your team to have more success as a whole. This is a lesson even adults many teams don’t understand but if you can learn this at a young age in sports you will be a much better team player and employee overall.
It also helps kids socially. Teammates normally enjoy spending lots of time together outside of practice and games. Which helps kids develop team chemistry which is one of the most important things in team sports. It teaches kids that they have to be able to work well together or the team won’t succeed.
Sports also teaches kids one of the best lessons they can learn that success requires hard work. Whether that is multiple practices in one day, lifting weights, or doing conditioning, practice may be the hardest part of their day as a kid.
Sports also helps kids with their health with child obesity becoming more and more of a problem in our society sports provide a good way to keep kids healthy in a fun and enjoyable way.
They can also boost self-esteem with how much time and effort sports require to win players do have success they get a strong feeling of accomplishment this helps with their confidence and encourages them to achieve other goals in life.
Sports also have shown that they improve kids academically “Some people may think this would distract student-athletes from schoolwork. However, the opposite is true. Sports require memorization, repetition and learning — skillsets that are directly relevant to class work” (“Benefits of Sports for Young Athletes).
However, even with the many benefits of sports there are still some negative effects. One big one is injuries, “With 2.6 million emergency room visits a year for those aged 5–24 years, a 70%–80% attrition rate by the time a child is 15 years of age” (Merkel). Even though sports across the board have become safer, kids get seriously injured all the time. The poster child for this is football with concussions and CTE becoming more and more known many players and parents have decided sports aren’t worth the long-term injuries that may come with them. Luckily many changes to rules and equipment are being put into place to make the game safer for young athletes.
One other negative effect is some players experience increased stress and anxiety from sports, similar to how sports help kids with confidence and self-esteem when they when the opposite can happen when they lose. “Other negative coaching behaviors observed by athletes included cheating and fighting with parents, referees, and other coaches. Some athletes also felt pressured to play while injured” (Merkel). And with the kids being so young playing while injured can have serious effects later in life.
In conclusion even though there are some risks surrounding such as injuries or increased stress. They are necessary for a kid’s well-being providing a number of health benefits along with the school skills and other lessons it teaches. And with the changes to rules and equipment in recent years sports across the board have gotten safer.
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