By Kasey Bowser
Aside from the physical benefits of playing sports, studies have shown the emotional, psychological and social benefits are just as high. In fact, the True Sport Report points out that “children who participate in sports have shown improved academic achievement, higher self-esteem, fewer behavioral problems, and healthier psychological adjustment.”
According to True Sport Report, exercising at a young age and throughout developmental years can:
*Affect the brain’s physiology and is associated with improved attention and better information processing, storage, and retrieval.
*Lead to short-term relaxation, enhanced creativity and memory, better mood, and improved problem-solving abilities.
*Provide youth with opportunities to engage in positive relationships with adults and to safely navigate between right and wrong, thus helping build character.
*Help kids to learn emotional control, the value of teamwork, and the ability to show initiative, and these skills transfer to academics, family life, and eventually the work environment.
*Give young women and girls more confidence and self-esteem, making them less likely to be overweight, depressed, smoke, use illegal drugs, or have teen pregnancies.
Children develop emotionally, physically and behaviorally at different rates, which can cause parents to keep their kids from playing sports. Research shows, however, that children should not be shut out from playing sports because they’re behind on development. They don’t need to be skilled in the sport in order to benefit physiologically. A child’s confidence will increase by just interacting and playing with their peers and it will help improve their development.
For more information, visit truesport.org.