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“Social skills and team sports”
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One of the best after-school activities for kids is to participate in youth sports. Taking part in different sports activities over the school years can benefit kids in a number of ways. Not only they get great much-needed exercise from sports, but taking part in team sports also provide them with numerous valuable life lessons.

It’s often encouraged that kids can participate in sports from a very young age. Take a look at how kids benefit from playing sports.

Gaining social skills


Social skills are best gained when children take part in team sports that require and enable them to interact with one another. Kids who are not talented athletes will still benefit from team sports as they will learn a lot by interacting with the other kids. Shy or timid-natured kids can learn a lot and improve their social skills by playing team sports.

Team sports allow kids to solve problems by communicating with each other – listening and taking in others' ideas, and brainstorming together to reach a strategy. Kids can develop leadership skills by being a part of a team. The communications practice that they get goes a long way to help them in evolving their minds for future leadership roles.

Getting much needed exercise


Organised sports events enable kids to get mental and physical exercise. Their mind and body can get a great workout by taking part in sport activities. Outdoor recreational sports enable kids to create bonds with other children, making memories that last forever. Paying sports also acts as an excellent stress reducer, promoting healthy body and minds.

Better academic performance


Children who are more active in sports may show a greater success rate at school than kids who are not so active. Participating in sports may enhance fine motor skills in children. It can also refresh their minds, allowing them to pay better attention in class. Sports can help them by sharpening their focus and improving their memory. Team sports also teach kids how to follow instructions and directions, helping them to cope better at school.

Forming friendships through teamwork


Children's interpersonal skills are developed as they participate in teamwork. This helps them develop strong bonds and promotes a better social life down the road. They learn how to form friendships by supporting each other and working towards a common goal. It helps improve co-operation and leadership skills and teaches them how to accept each other’s strengths and weaknesses. Teamwork also makes sports more fun as they get to share the experience with other kids and they learn how to cheer each other on.

Encouraging healthy competition


Sport provides children with a healthy outlet for competition. Team sports teach kids how to compete with others fairly and how to give their best towards winning. It also teaches that while it’s great to win, it’s also OK to lose sometimes. They learn that practicing something enables them to perform better. They learn that, through discipline and hard work, they can fare better. Competition in sports also teaches them to stay positive even though the situation may not always be in their favor. For instance, if their team loses, they still need to remain positive to uplift the team’s morale.

Reinforcing mental health


Being a part of organised team sports teaches kids to be more self-aware and boosts their self-esteem. Teamwork makes them feel more valued and needed. It teaches them to think big and how to be a part of something that is bigger than themselves. Playing recreational sports can relieve stress and help them to combat anxiety. Parents can offer encouragement and compliments to children, rewarding them for their achievements. This can help build their confidence. Performing well at team sports can also earn the acknowledgment and respect of the teammates, actively building positive self-esteem.

Learning to manage and organise time


Sports teach children how to follow instructions. This helps them learn how to manage time for the different activities in their lives such as school, homework, house chores and other forms of recreation. They learn how to make time for each activity and how to make commitments based on the time they have allotted.

Teaches them a good sporting attitude


Participating in team sports is a great way to learn about the value of sportsmanship. They get to learn the importance of fair play and how everyone deserves a chance at playing. They learn how to play their part by taking responsibility and how to not argue if things don’t always go their way. One of the biggest lessons learned is how to lose graciously and not to brag if you win. The value of team play is emphasised and they can also learn how to cheer their teammates on.

Learning to respect others


Team sport can teach children how to respect the decisions of referees, umpires, coaches and other officials. This also enables them to build respect for themselves and to respect the development of their careers. Respect for other individuals helps them to establish positive habits throughout their lives.

As parents, it is your responsibility to provide your children with positive experiences throughout their childhood, so that their development takes proper shape. Providing them with access to sports facilities can go a long way in ensuring that. Adequate sports experiences as a child can encourage kids to keep making healthy life choices. It also helps them stay actively involved in sports and have an energetic lifestyle. So, help your child to make the right choice by involving them in sports at a young age.

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