3 Benefits of Youth Sports Teams

There are several benefits of youth sports.When I first talked to my son about playing basketball in the winter league, he wasn't too sure about it because he told me he was bad at basketball when they played in gym. We didn't discuss it much after that until I took him to his first game one cold December morning. He continued to go to basketball every Saturday and each week he improved. Never once did he complain or say he didn't want to go. He had a good time and participated fully although many of the other boys were more advanced. As a parent, I was happy to open his eyes to his own potential.

Here are three benefits of enrolling your children in youth sports leagues:

1. Learning - Sometimes kids get caught up in being as good as their friends. They are afraid they won't be able to do things right. My son learned that although basketball isn't his strong suit, he could still get out on the court and learn. By the end of the season they kids were playing actual basketball games and not just doing drills. He learned that every team member had a place and his participation mattered.

Young kids may keep score but they also learn that the most important part of the game is to have fun. This teaches them early on that they should enjoy the actual playing of the sport, and not just the end result, the score. Teamwork lessons learned on the field can translate into family and school life, and later work.

2. Building confidence
- In the early years of youth sports, kids and parents are shopping around for sports. It's not unusual to enroll kids in baseball, followed by soccer, and then basketball. Some athletic kids continue this schedule all the way through high school. For other kids, they find the one sport they like and practice. I like to tell my son he can be anything he wants to be. For him that means a Bruins hockey player, a scientist, a drummer or an architect.

My son sometimes surprises himself when he makes a good throw, hits the ball far, or scores a goal in soccer. Kids who are six and seven are still exploring their physical selves and their abilities. When the ball goes the right way it increases their confidence.

Encourage kids to practice and take the time to practice with them. Show them that if it's important to them, it's important to you.

3. Exercising - Youth sports, whether recreational or competitive, teach kids one of the most important life lessons: they have to keep moving. With technology available at every turn, it's important for kids to learn how good it feels to exercise, run fast, and talk to friends in person. Youth sports help kids avoid a sedentary lifestyle, which can lead to serious health problems. The best part is, they have fun exercising because they are playing with their friends at the same time.

Youth sports encourage kids to stay active, which can also help alleviate stress from school or peers. Exercising with friends makes kids happy, and who doesn't want happy kids?

Content by Pam Gaulin .