Sometimes I feel like all of my evenings are given up for kid sporting activities. After you become a parent, you get the title of a taxi driver too! Sports keep children and teens active. Additionally, sports can keep teens busy, which decreases access to trouble. But what are the benefits for children and teens playing sports according to research?
Eime, Young, Harvey, Charity, and Payne (2013) reviewed 30 research articles on the benefits for children and teens playing sports. The articles were published between 1990 and 2012.
Benefits for Children and Teens Playing Sports Results
Here are the results.
- Improved self-esteem
- Improved social interaction with fewer depressed symptoms
- Team sports were associated with improved health outcomes compared to individual activities
- Improved physical activity/fitness
- Decreased risk of obesity
My teenager, Kobi, plays football. He’s a skinny thing, but he loves the game. His high school football practices are four to five days a week. He had to learn time management, but football also keeps him busy. Keeping teens busy helps keep them out of trouble. They are in the stage were experimenting is high. Therefore, giving them less time to experiment is a bonus. My son also loves the family feeling a team provides. You have to be careful of course if the players aren’t great influences, but the dynamics of the team starts with good coaches. Finally, Kobi likes how each player holds each other accountable to work at his highest potential on the field. This is great because it causes Kobi to work hard, and he likes the feeling of not letting his teammates down. The team depends on each player.
Taking our children all over town for sporting activities is a lot of work. It is a sacrifice for parents, but there are great rewards. Self-esteem, the ability to socially interact, and positive physical fitness habits are all qualities that will benefit children and teens as they mature into adulthood. Therefore, keeping children busy in sports can be a positive experience with beneficial health outcomes. Bear in mind that balance is always necessary.