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Most kids get the opportunity to play team sports at some point during their school careers.  Some will be very keen, and others will need a little more persuasion to join in. There are a huge number of reasons why it is important to encourage your kids to play team sports and here are some of the best ones.

Physical Fitness

Childhood obesity is a serious problem in the USA and other countries.  Children tend to live a more sedentary lifestyle than they did a couple of generations ago, with many more children now being driven to school rather than being expected to walk or cycle. The popularity of video games rather than physical games has added to this problem and kids now spend a lot more time sitting down than they used to.  However, if a child is encouraged to play team sports, they will have a great reason to get out on the sports field and run around.  This will teach them healthy habits from a young age that will stand them in good stead for the rest of their lives.

It Keeps Kids Busy

Keeping kids busy and focused is a great way to keep them out of trouble.  If they go to sports practice after school, they have a lot less time to cause mischief and get into trouble with their teachers or the law.  Many kids turn to drugs and crime if they are bored, but kids that play team sports have somewhere to focus their attention, and this keeps them away from crime.

It Teaches Them Social Skills

Kids learn a lot of social skills from playing team sports.  Firstly, they will have to communicate with the other kids on the team and work together as part of that team.  Nothing brings kids together like team sports and they will find themselves mixing with a much bigger and more diverse social group by playing as part of a team. The shared experience of team sports will help them to make friends for life.

It also teaches them to respond to adults well.  There will be coaches and referees for them to relate to and deal with.  They need to learn to take instruction and listen to what is expected of them. These skills will be great practice for when they go out into the world of work and take up junior roles where they will have to follow instructions and be comfortable with figures of authority.

It Teaches Them Commitment

Kids who sign up for team sports are expected to turn up to practice and to games every week.  They learn the importance of commitment and how much a team can be let down by the actions of others.  They will learn to do what they say they are going to do and not be flaky, which will earn them respect from their peers as kids, and in their adult lives too.

It Gives Them Confidence

Kids who get involved in team sports improve at them through practice.  This gives them confidence that they perhaps do not feel in the classroom or the outside world.  They do not need to be the best reader or mathematician to hit a ball well and they can learn to excel where they might not have done before.  The more they practice, the better they will get, so give them the opportunity to perfect their skills at home when they are not on the sports field.   For example, some pitching machines can throw balls at speeds up to 70mph.  This will help them to become the star of the baseball team and improve their confidence immensely.

It Teaches Them to Win and Lose

There is no greater sense of achievement than being part of a winning team and kids will love knowing that they have helped to create that success. This will promote their confidence and desire to work as part of a team and motivate them to keep playing their team sport.

Unfortunately in sports, as in life, you can’t be on the winning team all the time and kids can learn a lot by losing sometimes too.  It teaches them tenacity and gives them the drive to keep going in the face of adversity.  Determination and hard work will be necessary to make sure that they can win some of the time too.  These are all great life lessons that can be learned through team sports.

Parents Can Get Involved

It is a sad fact of life that as kids grow up, they grow away from their parents.  They gain independence and take on their own identity and you might be left wondering where you fit into their teenage life.  However, if your kids are encouraged to play team sports, this will still leave a space in their lives for you.  After all, they might need a ride to practice or a game and even the most independent teenager will still be pleased to see their parents on the sidelines, cheering them on.  Adults are often encouraged to get involved with some aspect of running the team such as coaching, administration, or just providing a lift for a few of the kids.  There are plenty of ways to stay involved in your child’s life without overwhelming or embarrassing them if they play team sports.

Future Employment

Team sports can help kids gain employment when they are older.  They have some good skills to put on their resume and they can give some great examples of their ability to take direction or work as part of a team when they are interviewed.  Playing team sports will give them a lot of the social and professional skills an employer is looking for and put them at the front of the pack when it comes to getting their foot on the career ladder after graduation.

Here are just a few of the excellent reasons why you should encourage your kids to play team sports but there are many more.