Have you been thinking about enrolling your child in an organized sport? There are so many options out there–soccer, football, softball, baseball. I could go on, but I will spare you. Many communities offer recreational organized sports for youth that are divided by age and skill.
If you have been thinking about enrolling your child or if you are already a fellow soccer mom (like me), then pat yourself on the back because you are exposing your child to some amazing benefits that will affect their physical, social, emotional and mental development, not to mention that they may learn a thing or two.
Most organized sports provide a lot of opportunity to work out just about every part of the body, which will lower your child’s risk for obesity and type 2 diabetes, promote cardiovascular health through aerobic exercise, increase their endurance and coordination, and make their bones stronger and muscles toner. With time and practice your child will become more agile, flexible and faster.
Organized sports are also social activities for children. If your child is an introvert and you are looking for ways to get them to “break out of the shell” then getting them actively involved in sports may be a great option. Organized sports requires children to effectively communicate with their teammates and work together toward a common goal (a win!).
Teamwork is an invaluable skill that will carry with your child into his or her adult years. During a child’s early development, it is imperative that they see the importance and value of sharing with others. The acquired skill of sharing can be learned through organized sports because one must communicate, strategize and share the ball in order to make the goal and score the winning point for the team.
Children who are actively involved in organized sports tend to have more self-confidence and have a larger network of friends. If your child is not athletically inclined, but you would still like for him or her to give it a go, then soccer is a great sport to try since it does not require quite as much skill as say, baseball or basketball. Some would argue that organized sports put a lot of undue pressure on children to succeed and instill a competitive attitude. I would have to say,”What’s wrong with a little competition?” The benefits your child will receive will far outweigh any concerns.
Organized sports are a great way to get your child to exercise their focus and improve their concentration. While playing an organized sport such as soccer, one must have a constant eye on the ball despite noise from the cheering crowd or the distraction of other players on the field. For children with attention deficit disorders, organized sports could be a great way for them to expend some of their extra energy and practice their focusing techniques in lieu of or in conjunction with their medication.
Organized sports provide for a whole host of educational opportunities fashioned into a fun, competitive game. Your child will learn how to follow instructions, take direction from their coach or team leader and pay attention to constructive criticism. These educational opportunities will help your child be a better team player and the lessons learned will manifest itself in his or her adult experiences as well. Your child will become a more well-rounded teen and a contributing member of their community and they will be able to thank their parent (you!) for it.