The days of kids coming home, throwing their uniforms away and running outside to play with their friends until sunset seem too long ago. Today, with the hundreds upon hundreds of video games and consoles, children feel perfectly content spending their free time on the couch. But, have you even thought about the repercussions of encouraging this habit in your children?
According to the Australian Bureau of Statistics, only 6 out of 10 children aged 5 to 14 participate in sport outside school. A similar survey also found that kids and teens aged 5 to 17 are obese or overweight, indicating that we need to encourage children to be physically active. So how can you get your kids moving again? Sport is probably the best answer. Taking part in sports will help kids stay active, learn sportsmanship, and develop a hobby that they can enjoy for the rest of his life. So, here we talk about a few best sports for kids and its benefits.
Benefits Of Sports:
Here are some of the main benefits of sports for kids.
1. Physical Fitness:
Physical fitness is the main advantage of sports for children. Participating in sports will keep the kids healthy by dramatically reducing the risk of diseases like osteoporosis and heart diseases. Evidence also suggests that physically active children are likely to mature into physically active adults.
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2. Develop Social Skills:
Physical activity and sports can positively affect personal development in youngsters. Kids learn to interact not just with the people of their age, but also with their coaches and sports officials. Your child will learn teamwork, communication, and leadership skills that will help him achieve his career and relationship goals.
3. Improve Confidence And Self-Esteem:
Participation in sports can also improve your child’s confidence and self-esteem. Athletes get encouragement and praise from the parents and coaches, which builds their self-confidence. They also learn to push themselves and trust their abilities. Constructive criticism is also a major part of sports participation, and young children accept it and use it to their benefit. The American Academy of Child and Adolescent Psychiatry also suggests that parents must ensure that their children make the most of sports participation.
4. Academic Success:
As you all must know, kids who participate in sports perform well in academics as well. It’s because organized sports activities develop and improve your child’s cognitive skills. Athletes tend to apply the same principles of perseverance and dedication; they learn through sports to their academics. An article published on an American website states the joining a high school sports team increases a young woman’s chance of graduating college by 40%.
[ Read: How To Motivate Your Child In Sports ]
5. Respect The Authority:
Does your little one need a dose of discipline? Then sign him up for a sports activity. Taking direction, following rules and accepting decision is a part of competitive sports. Players are even penalized for bad behavior.
6. Control The Emotions:
When children are growing up, we want them to control their emotions, especially the negative ones. Sports activities can channelize the emotions of the children in a productive way. A good coach also understands that stress and negative emotion hurts performance. So he will try to imbibe the same in the pupils to help them tackle a broad range of life challenges.
7. Kids Are Less Likely To Indulge In Anti-Social Activities:
Children involved in sports are a lot less like to smoke or do drugs. They realize the effect these destructive things can have on their body and overall performance.
8. Relieves Stress And Reduces Depression:
Sports and physical activities are a great way to reduce depression and relieve stress. Even if your child feels stressed out, he can call up his teammates, head to the gym and play it out.
9. Sports Is Fun:
Lastly, and most importantly, sports are fun. It gives your child a group of people with similar interests and goals. Hanging out with them will motivate your child to do better. Some of the kids may even become buddies for life.
The benefits of sports are the same whether your child excels at sports or not. Although it would be excellent if your child continues playing the sport when he’s older.
[ Read: Rules To Play Lacrosse For Kids ]
10 Best Sports For Kids:
Not all sports are equal for children. You have to consider your child’s age, skills, height and most importantly, his interests. If your child has his heart set of basketball, he won’t be happy even with the most talented and enthusiastic football coach. And choosing the perfect sport can make a huge different in improving mood, focus, and self-esteem. Here are ten best sports for children.
Soccer helps children learn to balance. Juggling the ball while finding the teammates will improve the foot dexterity. Constant running will benefit their cardiovascular health and endurance levels. But soccer is not entirely safe. Hazards like ankle twist and shin splints are common. Heading when done incorrectly can lead to concussions and even brain injuries. To prevent it American Academy of Pediatrics recommends purposeful heading of the soccer ball before the age of 13, as younger children’s brains are more susceptible to injury.
Is your child strong enough to tackle the fear of heights and water? Then you can enroll him in swimming classes. Swimmers receive one-on-one time with coaches while enjoying the social benefits of being a part of a team. Your kid will be able to focus on development by improving his swimming ability without any comparison to anyone else in the team. This is one of the fun sports for kids that will keep them physically active and entertained.
3. Cheer leading:
Cheerleading is the ultimate sport for teaching teamwork to little girls. Even if one participant is not in sync, the whole routine can go off. Besides teaching team-building children, cheerleading also promotes agility and flexibility with its leaps and flips. Unlike other sports, cheerleading conditions and tones the body as well. It can be one of the best sport for kids.
Rugby is one of the all-team sports for kids , where they learn that, they cannot win alone. And the duration and intensity of the practices teach time management skills. Deep concussions and bruises are common in this sport. So instruct your child to wear a helmet and padding all the time.
Every kid has at least once tried to ride a bicycle with mom or dad holding the back of the seat. In addition to being loads of fun, bicycling is a great form of exercise as well. Have your child start with a three-wheel tricycle and then proceed to a two-wheel with a training wheel. Once your child has mastered it, take off the training wheels. But do not let the kids ride multispeed bikes or bikes with hand brakes until the age of 9.
Basketball is one of the most popular sports among children. The sport is easy to organize as it relies on the least amount of equipment- a ball and a park hoop are all you need. Basic moves like quick passes and dribbling will improve your child’s hand-eye coordination. Basketball is also the least dangerous of all the sports. The worst that can happen is occasional eye poke and pulled hamstrings.
7. Inline Skating:
Inline skating is a very popular activity with kids these days. Children can start inline skating at the age of 4 or 5. Take your child for a tutoring with a professional and ensure that he wears all the gear, which include, knee pads, elbow pads, and wrist guards. And do not gasp in horror at the thought of your child falling on the concrete. The management undertakes several safety measures to keep the children safe as they zip around on skates.
Many little boys and girls grow up dreaming of being baseball players. So if your kid aspires to be the same, then why not make him start early. Children as young as six years of age can learn baseball. In fact, over 3 million kids aged 5 and 18 participate in the Little League Baseball organization.
Baseball will improve hand-eye coordination, physical strength and balance in children. It will also help him learn about teamwork, discipline, leadership and citizenship. And it’s pretty harmless, with typical injuries like pulled hamstring and elbow injuries. This is one of the great sports for kids to play.
Hockey is the good sports for kids to gain endurance, leg strength and dexterity by controlling a fast-moving puck with the stick. Children will learn to run around the rink at 10 miles per hours while flinging themselves at one another along the way. The culture of fighting has softened but hasn’t gone away. So proper equipment is a must. It may not keep your child 100% injury-free, but will make a difference.
Golf is a lot more fun that it might appear from lame Father’s Day cards. Your kid can continue playing even as he turns into an adult, as a parent-kid activity. 5 to 8 is a good time to start learning golf. If your child is genuinely curious about golf, then you can visit a driving range with him so that he can enjoy golf in a little pressure and low-cost environment. It will help your child become focused and independent as well.
With your support and encouragement, there are high chances your child will take an immense interest in sports. Does your child participate in sports activities in school? What’s his most favorite sport? Tell us by commenting below!
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