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The Benefits Of Youth Sports

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Sports are a great way for youth to engage in the nature and their surrounding or environment. By studying the history of sports, we can learn about the social changes we have gone through in the past, as well as the transformations that sports in itself has undergone (Sports and Child Development, 2016). During our youth, we develop skills to help us be successful in life. Young people develop crucial skills and characteristics when playing sports and interacting with their teammates , that will benefit them later in life. This paper will focus on the benefits of youth sports as it relates to socialization, teamwork, health, and perspective.

Being able to communicate well is an essential skill to have in adulthood, starting kids out playing youth sports will help develop this skill early on. Youth sports also require socialization skills. By using socialization skills, children are able to increase their ability to communicate effectively and whey they are able to do this, in unison, they effectively are able to work as a team (“the Role of Sport as a Social Status Determinant for Children : Thirty Years Later,” 2011). For example, during practice, or games children are constantly communicating with each other by talking about the sport itself ( who goes where and what to do). Children will naturally wish to communicate with other players and try to work towards bettering their own ability to perform at the sport along with their teammates. Afterwards, team members often talk about what went right, what went wrong during practice or the game. This develops friendships too. By using socialization skills, children are able to create and form healthy relationships.

Many individuals, especially introverts have problems associating with people and would prefer be alone. When those people play youth sports, they often come up with an identity they can be proud of. These people often find a common ground with which the can socialize and that helps them become less introverted. It is not unusual when they have problems, they do not go to family first, but to their teammates. They get a sense of belonging and make sports a big player in creating relationships and environments in which they can socialize; helping them open up to others. Furthermore, this is true for youths who may not have anything in common, except for the love of a particular team or sport. Many form lifelong friendships as a result of being involved in youth sports.

Young people today who play sports are encouraged to learn good sportsmanship qualities. This familiarizes them with the five C’s of positive youth development; competence, confidence, connection, compassion, caring, and character (Martin, 2009). Jones, Holt, Sullivan, Bloom (2009) pointed out that “ sports may provide a context in which youth have opportunities to learn life skills and other positive attributes that help them thrive away from the field of play…There is a belief that through playing sport youth can learn competencies, assets, values, and life skills that will have a positive influence on their development” (P..251). The C’s are important life skills that any developing youth need in order to be able to relate to others. They enable the individual to grow into an adult that is capable of making wise decisions that both benefit themselves and those around them. Becoming accustomed to challenges from their opponents, sports also gives people the confidence to tackle obstacles that life throws at them.

Careers can be developed through sports which began at a young age; the skills and experiences a person gains while playing youth sports can help one find a lifelong career as an adult and be successful at it. Those who play a sport succeed in their chosen field because of what they took away from simply being involved in a sport. Smith (2014) wrote about playing sports in regards to women’s success, “ These findings show that participation in sport not only influences leadership, skills, style, and career development…this study confirms the significant role participating in sports plays in providing the tools necessary to succeed in the competitive world in which we live” (Para 10). It also shows that women who are involved in sports at a young age are more likely to find themselves in a leadership role later in their lives. This does not only correlate to women, young men who are involved in sports also find themselves at the top tier of their chosen field.

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Having youth participate in sports provides them with the necessary experiences that they can apply to great benefit later in life. In sports, one comes face to face with the realities of life that includes: success, victory, shame, failure, and defeat to name a few. Disappointments are common and these are important lessons that one has to cope with throughout life. Life is not a one-way street to success, and these experiences provide one with the foundation on which to base future decisions upon. Youth sport teaches important life lessons, like how to react to failure and how to survive without giving up in the face of adversity. Additionally, it teaches youth how to celebrate victories without making opponents feel bad or worthless, how to hang on and to give their best even though they may not be having a great day, and how to console teammates after losing an emotional game. These and other lessons, make people bond together into a tight knit unit that appreciates every individual’s strengths and weaknesses.

DiVeronica (2015) wrote an article highlighting Mike Hurley, a soccer coach goes out of his way to create a special bond with his players, he states: “ I am here to make them have fun..they love soccer and I don’t at any point put such a stress on them that it is a job, that it is work, that it’s a grind. I want them to work but have fun at the same time and enjoy and look forward to coming in every single day.” Youth sport allows the participants to appreciate that not humans are perfect and make errors. It touches the lives of people, spectators, and players alike which creates bonds among them that are impenetrable even in the most difficult of times. It is not uncommon to see players cry when a teammate gets injured or can’t go on. The outside world may not know the player’s strengths on the field, but it is the teammates who train daily with them and know what his or her contribution is both on and off the field.

Playing youth sports teaches kids to take risks and be able to live with the consequences of their actions. This makes individuals better prepared for situations that they will be involved in later in life that may require them to make decisions without being aware of the costs. Young athletes are mostly taking advice from their coaches who have a say so in the decisions they make. Therefore, youth sport makes individuals accountable to obey authority and molds them into more responsible adults who respect authority as a result.

Childhood obesity in our society today has become a major health concern. One contributing factor is the lack of physical activity among our youths. Reeves, Postolache, Snitker (2018) highlights “ the relation between obesity, depression, and inactivity. Inactivity is a cause of obesity. Depression may be a cause of inactivity, and therefore promote obesity. Those with a large body have greater difficulty exercising and derive less pleasure in doing so; the resultant inactivity may promote depression.” By engaging our youth in sports,especially for the purpose of having fun, these children will not only enjoy themselves but have the added advantage of working their way to a better lifestyle that will improve their health.

Youth sports helps build character. Various sports do not instinctively come easy for some children. However, hard work and dedication can lead to great achievements. Goodes (2014) points out that “athletes tend to be more interested in sports which they perform well in, but what separates a talented athlete from a great athlete is their personal approach to competition, practices, and after hours skill training and conditioning” (Para 4). At the same time, the athlete will know how to use their strength to their advantage and how to use it to cover their weaknesses. A skill that will benefit them well into adulthood.

In conclusion, socializing, being a part of a team, self-realization, are all traits that are fading in today’s youth. in order to create a better future for our youth, it is now, more than ever, important to enroll children in early, youth sports as it has many positive benefits.

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The Benefits Of Youth Sports. (2022, February 24). Edubirdie. Retrieved October 2, 2022, from
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