Youth sports aren’t just a way to keep your child busy for a few hours after school. It’s been proven that children who play sports, like youth basketball, soccer, or volleyball, reap additional life-long benefits that can improve family life at home, social skills at school, and can set them up for more successful educational ventures and careers. If you’re wondering whether to sign up your child for youth sports, check out all the amazing benefits your child can experience when participating in these fun and exciting activities.
According to research gathered by Ohio University, 56% of parents get their children involved in youth sports to help them develop skills that can help with their schooling. Participation in team sports at a young age has been proven to lead to:
- Higher test scores.
- The greater likelihood of attending postsecondary education.
- Improved academic achievements.
- Higher income later in life.
Sports like youth basketball teach children to listen to authority, learn the rules of the game, and play by these rules at all times. They can take the lessons learned on the court into the classroom and may be more likely to respect the authority of their teachers and follow classroom rules.
If you plan to sign your child up for team youth sports, maybe a youth soccer program in Florida, you can expect to see social changes in him or her. A physiological survey conducted by the Aspen Institute and University of Texas linked social and physiological benefits to team youth sports. Children who participated in traditional team sports, such as basketball, kids volleyball, or soccer, reported having experiences that gave them a good overall sense of wellbeing.
When kids are part of a team, they feel they must perform better because their friends, teammates, and coaches are relying on them. This can instill a push to try hard, not only in the sport, but also in school, social situations, and potentially in their future careers. Being part of a team and doing well at a sport can also increase a child’s confidence, on and off the field.
The exercise that children get out of practices and games when participating in team sports can also have positive effects on their mental health. When children get regular exercise, they can experience improvements in their:
- Cognitive skills.
- Social skills.
- Initiative skills.
- Goal-setting skills.
These improvements translate into a balanced child who feels happy and fulfilled at home, with friends, and at school.
A youth sport like kids volleyball can not only improve your child’s cognitive and social skills, it can also keep him or her active and fit. Childhood obesity is on the rise in America and it’s mostly attributed to the sedentary lifestyles that many kids live. Youth sports are a great way to get your child active while having fun and making friends.
Ohio University reports that children who participated in youth sports experienced:
- Improved weight control.
- Less likelihood of developing a cigarette smoking habit.
- Decreased risk of heart disease.
- Lowered risk of developing diabetes.
In a research study published by the Robert Wood Johnson Foundation, parents of children who participated in team sports were asked about the benefits they felt their children were experiencing from these youth sports. The number one benefit parents remarked on was the improvement to their children’s physical health. In fact, 88% of parents who participated in the study claimed this as the most beneficial improvement they’ve seen in their children after beginning a sports program.
Choosing the Right Youth Sports Team
When you’re ready to get your child involved in youth sports, you’ll need to choose the right sport and team so he or she has a positive experience. Factors to consider when deciding on a sport include:
- The sports your child is interested in.
- Whether you want your child involved in a team or individual sport.
- Your family and school schedule.
- The sports that are available in your area.
A full range of competitive youth sports is available at the YMCA of South Florida. Just some of the most popular options with children include:
- Flag football.
- Martial arts.
You can also sign your child up for our youth soccer program, kids volleyball team, or youth basketball. Click here to learn more about the Y’s convenient and fun youth sports options.