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Psychological and Social Benefits of Sports for Children

Sports are good for a child’s body and mind. Research has shown there are psychological and social benefits of sports for children. The same is present in adolescents and adults. The benefits also impact their life skills positively.

Psychological and Social Benefits of Sports for Children

Organized sports, workouts, and physical activities have many social and psychological benefits for children. The benefits are more than physical activity during play. Researchers believe the benefits result from having children in a team. Involvement of the child with other teammates, children playing the game, and the adults involved provide these benefits. 

Developmental Benefits

There are more developmental benefits from sports apart from learning new physical skills. For instance, children can learn about the highs and lows of life. When you register your child for team sports, they learn to cope with the highs and lows of each sport. This helps them cope better with the same in life. 

For example, when playing a sport children will learn to lose. According to Simple Fitness Hub, involvement in physical activities like these is a great opportunity to learning how to be a good loser. Losing is an important part of being resilient to life’s disappointment. When children lose, they learn how to cope with unpleasant experiences and bounce back from disappointment. 

Additionally, sports help a child to learn how to channel negative feelings positively while controlling their emotions. It also helps children develop patience. They will understand it takes a lot of practice to learn in school and improve their physical skills.

Emotional Benefits

Research has shown that physical activities positively affect how you feel. This works by stimulating chemicals in the brain responsible for making you feel good. Therefore, playing sports regularly will improve the emotional well being of children. 

Self-esteem is also positively affected. Research has shown the support of the team and coach helps children feel better about themselves. For example, when a child performs well like scoring a goal in soccer and is cheered on, it has a positive effect on their self-esteem. 

Social Benefits

Playing as a team, irrespective of the sport will help children develop the social skills they need in life. Teams in sport teach children to be less selfish and cooperate. It also teaches them to learn to listen to their peers, which improves their listening and understanding skills.

A sense of belonging is another benefit of sports for children. Children can build a social circle and make new friends outside school. 

Accepting and exercising discipline is an important part of playing in a team. Children are expected to accept decisions to play in a sport. This means they will understand they will be penalized for breaking the rules. Apart from teaching them about teamwork, sports will teach children to take directions from other adults, referees, and their coach.

The Role Parents Play

As a parent, you need to ensure your child enjoys the sport. Make it a positive experience for them. Try focusing on ensuring your child has fun in a sport. The idea is to ensure the child understands being active by having a go is more important than losing or winning. 

Parents can help their children enjoy sports by praising their efforts or the team’s efforts. Even when they lose, a positive attitude from the parents is required. It points out to children the importance of doing their best when they try. 

Make sure the comments you make as you spectate are positive. Never criticize your child or other children from the opposite team. This way, you will ensure you allow your child to learn and get all the benefits of sports. The rule of thumb is to:

  • Be supportive
  • Always make positive comments as you encourage your child on
  • Never show your disappointment when they fail or lose 


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Kris Baker

Kris Baker is the President of Demosphere and has been serving the Youth Sports Community since 2006.