Have you been going back and forth on if your children should play sports? Scared that they won’t enjoy them? Worried that they will get bored? In this article we are going to go over 6 benefits of kids playing sports throughout their childhood. These are things that I personally experienced, since I started playing sports when I was 4 years old. The benefits of kids playing sports are broad and important for development.

The great thing about sports is there are so many options that are so different. There are options with and without contact, cheaper and more expensive options, and options with longer or shorter games. This is important, because out of all of these options I’m sure there is one your kid will love!

Benefit #1: Socialization

Most kids do not start kindergarten until they are 5. This may lead to a lack of socialization in the first 5 years of their life. Even if they attend pre-k or daycare the structure of playing a sport with kids their age is a different experience. They will begin to see their teammates as a new kind of friend, because they will learn that they have to work together to win a game. Throughout their childhood if they continue to play the same sports year after year they begin to build strong bonds with their teammates that lead to lifelong friendships. This also is a great time for kids to learn teamwork and how to work well with others and support each other. Playing sports also leads to learning sportsmanship and how to lose gracefully.

This image from Canva.com shows the socialization your child would receive during a team huddle. Socialization is one of the many benefits of kids playing sports.

Benefit #2: Exercise

When you sign your kid up for a sport it usually means you are agreeing to a weekly game/match. This means that your child will be playing their sport at least once a week. The exercise from playing sports is really important for young kids. It will help them burn off their extra energy left over from the day and can help kids maintain a healthy weight. This is vital for a child to start at a young age so that they are practicing these healthy habits into their young adult and even adult life. An active childhood can help lead to a healthy and active adulthood. Kids burning off extra energy has been proven to help with behavioral issues, because there is not as much time or energy for them to be disruptive or inattentive. Exercise is so important at every age and if we start kids exercising young we can help them see exercising as fun.

This image shows a player running with the ball down the field during a soccer game. There is a lot of running in many sports, which is a great form of exercise. Kids who play sports tend to exercise more than those who do not.

Benefit #3: Structure

The structure of playing sports helps kids to learn respect and sportsmanship. This one of the biggest benefits of kids playing sports. The constant need to look at the coach for leadership and advice during drills or a game helps to teach them a new form of respect and keeps their brain interested. Structure is very important for kids to learn, especially before they start school.

Sports also tend to help with behavioral issues, because sports are very structured and don’t leave much time for tantrums. Kids will also learn from teammates, when a teammate is more successful on the field/court/etc. they will want to model their behavior. Learning sportsmanship at a young age can help kids become better friends and focus on treating others how they would like to be treated. Not only does this help them avoid being a sore loser when they get older, but it also teaches them not to rub it in their opponents face when they win a game. These things are all very important to shaping your child into the young adult they will become.

This image shows the kids in karate listening to their Sensei for directions. Martial arts is extremely structured and teaches kids respect. Kids playing sports learn how to act in a structured environment.

Benefit #4: Improved Motor Skills

Kids who play sports tend to have more improved motor skills at a younger age. Balance, running, and throwing are just some of the examples of things you may see improve with your kids through sports. By practicing and perfecting these things through sports kids don’t see this as work, but as fun making it an easier process. They also tend to not get as frustrated when they mess up or struggle to do something, so they keep trying. It has also been said that playing sports at a young age can help with kids vision. Improving motor skills and vision is very important to a child’s development.

This image shows a group of kids doing ladders at a practice. Ladders help kids with their motor functions and also work your brain, because you have to think about what you are doing. This is one of the many benefits of kids playing sports.

Benefit #5: Confidence

Playing sports is a great way to help kids build confidence in themselves. Kids who are more shy tend to have an easier time making friends during sports, because they are put on a team and play a game with the same kids weekly or even more often than that. Teammates tend to become closer and more comfortable because they spend so much time together. Sometimes that is all kids need to break them out of their shell. Sports can also lead to confidence when you score a goal, make a basket, score a point, etc. This gets all of the teammates excited and leads to more confidence in the long run.

This image shows a young boy feeling very confident holding a football at practice. Building confidence through kids playing sports is easier than other avenues.

Benefit #6: Fun

One of the most important benefits of kids playing sports, is that they have fun! Going somewhere one or more days a week where the main goal is for them to have fun with their friends is so important. After a long day of school or daycare kids need time in their day to focus on having fun. It’s fun for kids to be able to get outside, burn some energy off, and play with their friends. Especially now, with all of the electronics kids are in front of all day everyday, it is so important to get them outside and get them moving!

This image shows true bliss and happiness. In this image the 2 boys playing hockey flash a big smile over to the stands, they are clearly having a lot of fun! Fun is the #1 goal when your kid is playing sports!

These are just a few of the many benefits of kids playing sports. It is very important to make sure that your kids is having fun. There is a sport for every kid, but some sports may not be for them. The way kids will view exercise and sports is up to you as a parent during their childhood. The lessons kids can learn from being part of a team can help to build a great leader and friend when they grow up. Remember this is supposed to be fun, it can be competitive, but try not to make it all about winning. The benefits of kids playing sports are endless. Get your kids out there playing sports, making friends, building memories, and most importantly having fun!