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    Why should my child play youth sports?

    By Team CoachList

    Why should my child play youth sports?

    Regardless of the activity, or whether he or she has the ability to go pro, by playing team sports, children learn how to interact with authority; increase their discipline, focus, and patience; improve their self esteem and acquire a variety of cognitive functions, all by playing team sports…

    Just because your child may not be a big sports fan doesn’t mean they shouldn’t try to play. Regardless of the type of activity, or whether he or she has the ability to go pro, there are all sorts of social and emotional skills that come from team sports that can benefit your child later in life…

    1) Discipline, focus, and patience!

    Sports aren’t just about speed and brute force. Every sport out there, even the fastest and most aggressive like soccer and football, require various levels of attentiveness from athletes. For children learning the ins-and-outs of a new sport means understanding how to focus on new things, learning how to process new information, and practicing when to react.

    2) Self-esteem!

    You can’t let the fear of your child’s failure in a sport keep them out of it. What helps build a child up more is understanding how little bits of progress are beneficial. Just seeing results from their practices – feeling physically better, seeing actual improvement in their skills, or getting a coach’s positive reinforcement on their progress – all help build a child’s self-esteem. You lose. Life isn’t fair. Even though children shouldn’t fear failure, it’s a sad fact that everyone will have unsatisfactory results at something in some point in their lives (and likely more times than just once).

    Like the great football coach Vince Lombardi said: “It’s not whether you get knocked down, it’s whether you get up.” But losing is still winning. Even if your child gets down on himself or herself for losing, helping them learn from that loss and building themselves back up will ultimately help them grow as a person.

    3) Cognitive function and skill!

    Sports have a variety of cognitive tests throughout a game (or even in a practice session) for children, such as…

    • Recollection: remembering the X’s and O’s and what they learned in the past…
    • Adaptive thinking: learning in the moment, and merging what they are learning with what they already know…
    • Reaction: taking everything they have learned in the past and in the moment, and figuring out how to best react. Children practicing sports, regardless of their skill level, learn how to become problem solvers. They think about strategy, and learn how to think faster on their feet.

    4) Interacting with authority!

    As children grow and become adults, they will need to learn how to listen to, learn from, and engage with many different figures of authority. Sports give children the opportunity to learn social skills from other people besides yourself and their teachers. There may also be sports that include peers as captains, and your children learn how to respect and work with a peer.

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