How Playing Sports is Great For Kids’ Health

kid playing soccer

We all know that there are numerous health benefits to regular physical activity for kids. But playing a sport can help children learn and grow in ways that they may miss out on with exercise alone.
Whether it’s an individual sport, like swimming, or a team sport, like soccer, these activities give kids a chance to test the social and emotional skills that they’ll need as an adult. Here, we’ll discuss how playing sports enriches kids’ lives by improving their social skills and mental health.

Building Confidence and Self Esteem

Self-esteem is one of the most important elements of any child’s mental health. Kids are much healthier and happier when they feel worthy of praise, not just from adults and other kids, but from themselves.

Playing sports gives children a chance to contribute to a team, which can help them build self-esteem by showing them that their unique skills and abilities are valued. In an individual sport, kids can become more confident by meeting the goals that they set for themselves. Even when they lose, kids can further develop confidence by learning from their mistakes and seeing themselves improve over time.

Developing Social Skills

Social skills are critical to navigating life’s challenges at any age successfully. Playing a sport can teach kids how to be courteous toward others when they win, or to learn from their mistakes when they lose.
They’ll also have to learn to play by the rules and to deal with the consequences of breaking them. By experiencing both fair and unfair treatment from other kids, they’ll quickly understand the value of fairness, and why they should treat others with respect. On a team sport, kids will learn to express themselves clearly and to assert themselves. Of course, compliance and communication are both important elements of…

teens running in the grass

Learning Cooperation and Teamwork

Both in school and at work, kids will need to work on teams to succeed. Even with practice, teamwork isn’t easy: it requires compromise, negotiation, problem-solving, and communication skills.

By playing a team sport, kids can develop these skills while doing something that they enjoy. They’ll learn what a team that works well (or not so well) looks like, how a team player can contribute to the team, and how that teamwork can lead to success or failure. In the process, they’ll sometimes need to put aside their individual desires to benefit the rest of the team.

Being part of a group or a cause larger than themselves can also give kids a sense of fulfilment and a desire to cooperate with others in the future.

Finding Healthy Outlets for Stress Relief

Just like adults, kids can become stressed, so they too can benefit from healthy ways to relieve that stress. Physical activity causes the body to release endorphins into the bloodstream, which are known to help improve mood and relieve feelings of anxiety and depression.

In addition, playing a sport gives the mind something to focus on completely. This can help kids take their minds off their concerns and problems, allowing them to try again when they are better able to handle them. As with adults, kids can enrich their lives significantly by investing themselves in something that they love to do, which also decreases the likelihood that they will seek out unhealthy ways to manage their stress.