I always tell my son, Noah, “Your primary responsibilities are school and sports. We will try different activities until you find the one you like, we will pick that one, stick with it, and commit to it.” After trying swimming, soccer, and tennis, he made his decision. Every day after school since then he has been playing tennis. Based on my experience as a tennis coach and a former professional athlete growing up with kids that were involved in sports, I can tell you that they typically become healthier, smarter and more confident. If you don’t believe me, here are the top reasons that research and experts show investing in sports for your child is a smart choice.
1. Better Academic Performance
Participating in a sport teaches discipline which can be applied in both school and sports. In sports, you see this in their ability and willingness to work hard. In school, discipline helps become more diligent regarding studying, homework and overall academic pursuits.
2. Minimized Use Of Electronics
Let’s be real, is all that time on the phone or computer going to be spent on homework? Definitely not. We all know how detrimental it can be to use electronic devices for long periods. It is much healthier to be physically active and playing sports is a great way to cut down screen time.
Team sports or competitions make you responsible as you have an obligation to follow the rules and be there for their teammates. If you don’t participate, your team might lose or has to shoulder additional burden. If you are not well rested, you or your team could be at a disadvantage.
4. Being A Good Sport
From a young age, competing against others can teach several great life skills. It can help develop the understanding that we cannot always win and how to handle defeat with integrity. Additionally, learning perseverance can be invaluable to their future success.
5. Problem Solving
Sports teach you to strategize and resolve obstacles, to learn more quickly, and to adapt to your circumstances. Whether on a team or playing solo, when they face a challenge, athletes often develop the ability to get overcome that situation.
A lack of exercise as children can significantly impact our habits as adults. Most of my friends who did not exercise or play sports growing up have a very difficult time finding the motivation to start an exercise program in their adult life. I know they will not like me saying this, but I find many of my friends also struggle to healthily manage stress when compared to someone that exercises.
We all know how valuable exercise can be to our daily lives. Encourage your child to try a sport or other physical activity. Athletics can help them develop a healthier lifestyle they can apply forever, have an easier time making friends, and many other long-term benefits.