Further Benefits of Participation in Youth Sports


It is well known that participation in youth sports provides kids with exercise, skill building, responsibility, and new friendships. But there are several additional benefits to joining youth sports. Let’s take a look at some of these benefits.

Providing Purpose and Identity: Participation in sports provides kids with a purpose and identity outside of school and/or their family. It gives participants something to look forward to, as well as goals to work towards and achieve. Playing on a team also offers a new unit and environment to belong to, and provides the feeling of being part of a community. This is especially beneficial to kids who might not otherwise experience such a sense of belonging.

Developing Skills on How to Handle Adversity: An important skill to be gained through youth sports is how to appropriately handle a loss, deal with disappointment, and persevere through struggles, both individually and as a team. Through participation in sports, kids can develop productive ways to deal with feelings such as jealousy toward rival teams, or general anxiety regarding performance.

Strengthening the Community: Through youth sports enrollment, the child’s entire family becomes connected to the community. Game days, practices, and carpooling all offer abundant bonding opportunities, solidifying children and parents to others in the community, and each other. Additionally, when players see their parents actively participating in their sport, through making time for attending games/practices and cheering for them at games, many kids feel valued.

Helping Kids Learn About Themselves: Through participation in sports, kids learn valuable lessons not only about the world, but about themselves. Through sports, kids become aware of their natural abilities and talents, as well as what they like and don’t like. These are valuable and sometimes hard-fought lessons, but are invaluable when carried into adulthood, and can ultimately result in a more confident individual.

Extended Social Benefits: While it has long been known that participation in sports is a good way to build friendships, there are additional social benefits to be gained. Kids who play in youth sports are exposed to a diverse group of children, often different from that of their school environment. Through this exposure kids learn to work through social skills such as developing leadership skills and overcoming shyness.

Exposure to Positive Role Models: Through participation in youth sports, kids are provided, through their coaches, role models and confidants outside of home and school. Such role models can help reinforce positive concepts that kids sometimes choose not to pick up from their parents, who are at times seen as “uncool.”