If your son or daughter spends too much time at home with a glazed look in their eye and the glow of a smartphone in their face, you might want to consider signing them up for school sports. Getting your child off the couch and active will not only bring them immediate benefits but will have a positive effect on them for the rest of their lives. Wondering how that’s possible? Here are five ways playing school sports will benefit your child.

1. Academics
Numerous studies have shown that kids in sports do better in school. School policies that have grade requirements for sports participation show students that they need to take their education seriously in order to continue playing. Additionally, the lessons they learn in sports help them cultivate the tenacity needed to not only complete physically but to excel in their studies, as well. Kids in school sports are also less likely to drop out of school and are more likely to attend college.

2. Fitness
As childhood obesity rates continue to rise, having your kids spending an excessive amount of time playing video games or watching YouTube makes them statistically more vulnerable to unhealthy habits. Regular participation in sports activities will improve your child’s weight and body mass, while they reap the many benefits of physical activity such as improved sleep, mood, and brain function. They’re also less likely to participate in unhealthy or risky behavior.

3. Confidence & Character
When your child participates in sports, they’ll learn how putting effort and practice into something will reap rewards. As they gain confidence when they win and are successful, they will also build character as they inevitably experience a defeat. Learning to take a loss in stride and push forward is an important lesson to learn early in life, and one that will help them as they go through the world and experience inevitable ups and downs.

4. Social Skills
As your child interacts with their coaches, parents and other students, they will develop communication and social skills. They’ll learn how to communicate their needs, contribute ideas as well as listen and follow instruction. They’ll learn how to achieve goals as they work with others, a vital skill that will benefit them throughout adulthood.

5. Lifelong memories
Students that participate in school sports spend a great deal of time together, during and outside of school hours. They will have many unique and fun experiences with a close group of people, creating bonds that can last them a lifetime.

Participating in school sports is an activity that will benefit your child mentally, emotionally and physically, leaving a lasting and lifelong positive impact.

If your child needs guidance in making better choices and creating and reaching goals, please call our office so we can schedule an appointment.

Priscilla Hurd, LPC, M.Ed.

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