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As the days get shorter and summer starts to slowly come to an end, it can feel like the school bus will be coming around the corner to pick your child up any minute now. Luckily, there are still a few weeks left until school begins, but with the beginning of school comes the beginning of other opportunities as well, such as the opportunity for your child to participate in sports. About 36 million kids play organized sports each year, and even though sports can seem overwhelming in the midst of academics, friends, clubs, and other extracurriculars, it’s more important than ever to get your child involved in some form of routine physical activity. Here are just a few benefits your child will gain from playing organized sports outside of school.
After being stuck in a classroom all day, most kids love to let loose and burn some extra energy by moving around. Soccer, for example, is just one sport that’s great for releasing energy: soccer involves running, walking, sprinting, and jumping, often for a full 90 minutes, and after a game, your child will be more focused and ready for another day of academics.
U.S. News recently published an article stating that research from the Mayo Clinic shows that “regular exercise may have a positive effect on behavior in children with ADHD when added to treatment.”
Needless to say, giving children the opportunity to release energy after a full day of sitting at a desk, absorbing information can definitely boost their cognitive abilities as a whole. Simply put, sign your child up for a sport, and you’re bound to see their grades improve, despite their busier schedule.
Self-Esteem and Cooperation Skills
One major benefit of getting your child involved in sports is the confident boost they’ll get every time they score a goal, make a basket, or get a touchdown. The support they’ll receive from their parents, coaches, and friends can make all the difference in helping them grow into a responsible and confident young adult. This also means that your child will learn to take criticism in stride and focus on improving both as a person and as an athlete.
Finally, many people consider physical fitness to be the biggest benefit of playing sports at any age. However, it’s particularly beneficial to children because it helps them develop healthy habits from a young age. In fact, adolescents who play sports are eight times as likely to be active at age 24 as adolescents who do not play sports. Helping your child develop healthy dietary and exercise habits now will undoubtedly shape their overall state of health for years to come, and possibly for the rest of their lives.
Ultimately, these are just a few of the countless advantages that come with childhood athletics. If you feel as though your child could benefit from playing a sport, sit down with them and gauge their interest. Allow them to try different sports to see if there’s one they like best, and always be there to support your child in every way you can.