The Pros and Cons of Youth Sport Competition
Your child’s first sport is always exciting. Though many begin with T-ball, most move up to more advanced activities by age nine. The pros and cons of youth sport competitions abound. While injuries are more likely, your kid may also learn things that will stay with them forever. Find out what to expect.
Pros of Sports
The best benefit anyone can get from sports is physical activity. Playing a sport requires you to use your body and mind together. It’s a fabulous way for kids to learn to love exercise for the rest of their lives.
Kids in sports tend to have more friends. Being on a team builds comradery and helps kids learn to get along. Also, teams spend a great deal of time together and go through many of the same challenges. This helps them bond and care for others.
For many kids, sports help them feel better about themselves. It gives them a chance to receive praise and work toward a goal. Sports can also help kids feel better about their bodies and their abilities.
Cons of Sports
When Sports Decrease Self-Esteem
Still, it’s not easy to lose. You may need to help your child calm down after losing a game. Consider how the sport is really affecting your kid. Not all kids have the same experience. Bullying is prevalent in sports and may come from other kids or even the coach. Talk to your child about how others treat them and monitor the people who coach your kids to ensure they’re supportive and kind to everyone on the team.
One of the major risks associated with playing sports is physical injury. Kids may break bones, get a concussion, or rip tendons while learning to play. Certain conditions can develop over time. For instance, experts note a relationship between scoliosis and gymnastics and ballet. However, it’s not clear if scoliosis gives kids an advantage in these sports or if the activity causes it.
Many sports eat up a great deal of time, which can distract from your child’s schoolwork. Though most kids must maintain good grades to participate in sports, it’s not easy for everyone. Consider the time you’ll put into the activity, too. You’ll need to transport your child to practice. Also, you’ll want to watch them play. In addition to time, it’s also expensive to participate in sports. Some kids must buy their own uniforms and gear.
While the pros and cons of youth sport competition are plentiful, you should make your own decision about letting your child participate. You may need to set stipulations to encourage them to do well in school. Also, you may need to assess how often they get injured and determine if they need to find an alternative activity.