Many parents enroll their children in organized sports as a way for them to blow off steam, develop coordination, or improve their athletic ability. However, the world of sports also has many social and emotional lessons to teach young people.
Some of these lessons are directly taught by coaches, but others are learned indirectly through practicing, working with teammates, and playing games.
Here are 10 life lessons that children will learn through participating in athletics, whether through team sports or individual sports.
- It’s okay to fail. Sports teach children that you have to make mistakes in order to improve.
- Teamwork makes the dream work. Organized team sports are a great way for young people to learn how to work together.
- Hard work pays off. By sticking with a sport and working hard, children will experience the excitement of making breakthroughs and improving their skills.
- Body language says a lot. In sports, paying attention to body language and picking up on nonverbal signals can make or break a game.
- Progress takes time. Nobody becomes a star athlete overnight. Sports teach children how to steadily improve over time.
- Success requires sacrifice. Children who are dedicated to their sport will learn that they sometimes have to give up other activities or free time in order to succeed.
- Everybody is unique. Through training and practicing a particular sport, young people will learn to identify their unique strengths as well as the strengths of their teammates or opponents.
- Health is important. Athletes need to take care of their physical bodies—including getting the proper sleep and nutrition. This awareness will benefit youth throughout the rest of their lives.
- Winning is a mindset. No one wins every game. But through regularly participating in sports, children will learn that a positive attitude and winning mindset stretch far beyond the scoreboard.
- Time management is crucial. Sometimes the outcomes of games come down to the final second of play. Through playing sports, children will learn the importance of time management and how to balance their schedules.