Having had both of my boys on various sports teams, I have seen them grow up into fine young men and part of that I definitely attribute to their participation in sports. There are many, many good things about being part of something bigger, and I’ve listed some great reasons to be on a team.
1. Learning that nobody is perfect
Teaching this has been a struggle at times. Children need to learn at an early age that everyone is different and that all players have different skill levels. I’ve seen both of my kids being critical of other kids who may not have been as talented as them in certain aspects. This always drives me crazy. At 15 and 13 I think they’ve finally realized that no one is perfect at everything and that they will make plenty of mistakes as well, so it’s not okay to criticize other players for their errors.
2. Learning to compete
We all know how competitive the workplace is and kids are never too young to learn about healthy competition. I feel like competition comes more naturally to boys, so having girls in competitive sports really helps them to feel like they can achieve their goals. and exceed expectations of what they think is possible.
3. Working together
I guess this one’s pretty obvious. Learning how to work with others is essential to growing as an individual. Being able to get along with people and being part of a team is invaluable experience for later in life.
4. Maintaining physical fitness
Ongoing exercise from a young age will get kids in the habit of staying active and keep them in good shape for the future. Kids who are lazy and inactive tend to stay that way so it’s important to get them started young with physical activity.
5. Learning to love sports
Sports can be wonderful outlet and to be able to play is one of the greatest gifts in life. I played sports as a child and to this day I’m still a huge fan of all sports. Loving sports gives people a common interest and going to baseball, football, basketball and other sports games are very enjoyable experiences.
6. Learning respect for coaches and mentors
Almost all of our kids are going to grow up and work for someone. Coaches and other mentors are very much like bosses to our children and learning to have respect and following instructions helps them get used to the idea of having another person in charge of them. They might not like it at times, but it’s part of life and we all have to get used to it.
7. Gaining self-esteem
Success can be very addicting and early success in sports can help your child build the confidence and self-esteem they need for the future. Each time they make a good play or get a hit they are adding another building block to that core.
8. Learning to achieve goals
Each play in a game, each hit, and each out is a separate goal that players have to achieve. The game itself, a tournament, or a championship are each goals that are built upon. Kids need to learn this invaluable lesson about setting out to complete a task and finishing it.
9. Building life-long friendships
My kids still hang out with kids they played sports with a few years ago and I know quite a few people who are still friends with old team mates. It’s wonderful to have friends with whom you’ve shared competitive struggles and exciting milestones. The memories will last for a lifetime.
10. Spending time with family
Sports are a great way to bring families together for outings at the game. Moms, Dads, Grandparents, and other relatives love to come out and see the kids play and sitting in the bleachers watching the games is a fantastic chance to catch up with those people you haven’t seen lately, or just to spend time together. With our busy and hectic lives, ball games are the perfect opportunity to slow things down, relax, and just hang out and enjoy ourselves.