Team sports provide children with many opportunities to grow and excel physically and socially, especially emotionally. Physical activities with other children allow them to build social skills through peer interaction. Many parents are concerned about whether or not to allow their children to participate in team sports and, if so, at what age.
When is a good age to start team sports?
Experts note that children become interested in team sports at the age of 5-6. They learn the importance of cooperating with their peers at a young age. Parents must emphasize cooperation over competition in team sports, especially with young children. Adults who supervise and coach need to serve as examples of cooperation, not competition. Nor should they show favoritism to young children based on their demonstrated skills in sports . It’s important to help young children advance developmentally to appreciate the cooperativeness of team sports.
Team sports also help a child’s physical well-being. Children who are actively involved in a sport are more likely to describe themselves as being in good physical health than students who do not participate in sports Also, athletically active youth are more likely to be nutrition-conscious in their food choices than children who are not actively involved in a sport.
Emotional growth is also important for children. At times, the emotional development of children is hindered because of the physical and/or emotional absence of parents. Sports provide youth with opportunities to interact with a caring and supportive adult. The interaction a child has with his or her coach helps to improve self-esteem as well as lower the chance of depression.
Sports team membership can also help increase a child’s self-worth, especially when the emphasis is on group or team success, rather than individual achievement. Youth of all ages, including those in high school, are likely to receive an end-of-the-season trophy for participating in the team sport. Receiving a trophy with their teammates is intended to help youth feel a sense of accomplishment, teamwork, and recognition.
While the physical health and emotional benefits that sports provide youth are important, the social benefits may be what draw children to sports. Being able to spend time with their friends outside of school is more important to children than knowing they are physically active. Social interaction in team sports teaches youth to: Associate with peers and communicate effectively.
ALL IN ALL
Sports provide tons of opportunities for children and teenagers to grow socially, emotionally, and physically. Team sports can be an amazing tool that helps children grow and succeed in their everyday lives and in the future.