Youth athletics are a cornerstone for many families in America. Playing sports not only keeps children out of trouble during summer break, but it also provides a long-term impact.
Tens of millions of children across America participate in sports. Playing team and individual sports can be beneficial to the physical and mental well-being of children. Playing sports during childhood sharpens internal motivations and allows for greater development of social and motor skills.
Participation in childhood sports should serve as a learning and development tool. Too often, parents and some influential adults create stressful environments by applying too much pressure and prioritizing competition over development. This can take the fun and enjoyment out of participation and cause burnout.
By focusing on what children can get out of sports participation – instead of stressing performance – a safe, friendly and productive environment comes to the forefront. And when that happens, children will find long-term and short-term benefits of playing sports.
Long-term Physical Health Benefits
Today, about 1 in every 3 kids in America is considered obese or overweight. That is an all-time high, which makes physical fitness a high priority. A childhood increase in physical activity leads to decreased risk of heart, osteoporosis, diabetes or other harmful ailments.
Playing sports can improve motor skills and strengthen bones and muscles. Running, jumping, climbing and developing hand-eye coordination are all important for refining motor skills and building strength and endurance.
Other positive health effects of playing sports include:
- Decreased chance of smoking or recreational drug use
- Drops in teenage pregnancies
- Lowered chances of other misbehavior because of schedule and structure
But most of all, childhood sports participation, when done right, can foster a love for sport and fitness that will last a lifetime. And that will result in more interest in fitness and sports as an adult.
Mental and Psychological Health Benefits
Whether playing alone in the driveway or on a team of peers, being active in sports can develop mental and psychological skills as well as physical ones. While some benefits are aligned with the element of competition, it’s actually the experience and self-improvements that make childhood sports worthwhile.
Playing youth sports can help your child improve these life-long skills:
- Accountability for self and others
- Time management skills
- Social skills and conflict resolution
- Emotional intelligence, which is becoming more important in our world
- Leadership skills
- Self-examination and self-improvement
- Setting and pursuing goals
- Teamwork and cooperation
Additionally, research shows participation in youth sports reduces the risk of depression in boys and girls. Children and teens who participate in sports report higher self-esteem and levels of happiness.
Playing Sports and School Achievement
Decades of research have shown children who are physically active and are generally healthy perform better in cerebral and intellectual tests as well. While time management can become a challenge if sports are over-emphasized, it’s generally believed that the organization needed to thrive helps children become successful in both sports and academics.
In a study conducted by the University of Kansas, academic performance was compared between athletes and non-athletes, and between racial demographics. In every single measure, students who played sports performed better than those who did not.
Improving Mind and Body With Hoops
One sport that combines all of these ideas is basketball. It requires muscular and respiratory endurance, hand-eye coordination and agility. No matter if alone in the driveway or on a team, basketball fosters competitiveness, focus, and self-improvement. In a team setting, it promotes teamwork and communication skills.
The great thing about basketball is all you need is a ball and a goal. You don’t need to be 6-foot-10 to play or have access to Madison Square Garden. All of the benefits of sport can be harnessed with a ball and a goal from American Eagle Goals.
American-made and built to last, American Eagle Goals come with a lifetime warranty and the promise of superior customer service. We have 3 series of hoops, whether you’re on your way to the NBA or just casually shooting in the driveway.
Contact us today and let our team of experts help your child reap the benefits of sport through basketball.
American Heart Association: www.heart.org/HEARTORG/HealthyLiving/HealthyKids/ChildhoodObesity/Overweight-in-Children_UCM_304054_Article.jsp#.Wvm9yNMvyt8
Science Daily: https://www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2014/09/140916084825.htm
Florida National Univ.: www.fnu.edu/the-link-between-sports-and-academic-performance/
Univ. of Kansas: https://news.ku.edu/2014/01/15/study-shows-high-school-athletes-performed-better-school-persisted-graduation-more-non