As someone who participated in team sports throughout my entire childhood and teens, I believe there are so many benefits and ways in which team sports have helped me grow into the person I am today.
As many of you know, exercise releases chemicals called endorphins. Endorphins are the “happy hormones” that trigger a positive feeling throughout the body. This has the same effect on children as it does on adults, and who doesn’t love a happy child?
Exercise not only helps improve your mood, stress levels and anxiety but it also improves your physical health. Regular exercise is proven to help develop good bone and muscular strength, improve cardiovascular fitness and assist with weight management or weight loss. This can help reduce the risk of illnesses and diseases. Most importantly, exercise at a young age helps kids form a regular life long habit and a better long term relationship with exercise.
Apart from the physical and mental benefits, participating in team sport and regular exercise from a young age can provide so many important lessons that can help children later in life.
Sport helps kids learn respect, not only for senior people in their life but for their opponents. It teaches discipline. Sports have a complex set of rules that must be followed. Not only are there game rules but also the coach’s rules. Abiding by multiple rules, and some that you may not agree with, can be a hard lesson to learn, but will prove to be very valuable later in life.
Participating in team sports is a great way for kids to learn how to socialise comfortably with different people and can often form lasting lifelong friendships. Communication is a huge part of all sports and a vital part of everyday life. Sporting teams provide a huge dynamic of different people you need to learn to communicate with; from your coach, to umpires, to opponents, to team mates and even to spectators. Each of these people need to be communicated with in a different manner.
Participating in team sports can also help kids learn about time management. As they grow older, they have an increasing number of responsibilities to manage. Managing school, homework, family and friends, as well as being on time for training and game day can help your child be better prepared for the increasing time demands they’ll face in the future. It has also been found that kids who play team sports performed better in the classroom. According to ‘Project Play’ by the Aspen Institute, kids that played team sport scored on average 40% better on school test results than those who played no sports at all. They were also reported to have better behaviour and more respect for teachers in the classroom.
Being a part of a team is a great support system to many kids. It helps them feel included and gives them value to be a part of something important. It teaches kids how to be supportive to their friends and loved ones. There are many more lessons that can be learned through participating in team sports… but by now I’m sure you’re already convinced that you should sign your kids up to your local club!
By Ella Kennedy
Ella is our head receptionist at Enhance Physiotherapy. She currently works at all of our clinics either at reception or behind the scenes to ensure everything is running smoothly. Ella was the co-captain of the Rockingham Flames basketball team for the 2019 season, where they won the women’s SBL championship!