Stephanie Britt on the Mental and Physical Health Benefits of Playing Sports
The benefits of playing sports for children go much farther than physical activity and improved cardiovascular health. Regular physical exercise battles feelings of anxiety and depression, fuels motivations, and enhances self-esteem. Likewise, being involved in a sport establishes a sense of community likewise, a team can function as an immediate friend group & become a source of emotional support.
If your child is interested in sports — great! But what happens if they are not?
Starting slow and small, finding the right activity and team fit, and lots of encouragement are definitely a start! Also, teaching children about how the skills they learn playing sports will help them succeed in the future can help keep them motivated.
Stephanie Britt outlines a few examples of how sport will benefit them now and in the future.
Enhanced Social Skills
A key benefit of playing a sport is building strong social skills. As adults, most of us know how important emotional intelligence and negotiation skills are for future success. The group interaction of playing sports helps children to communicate new ideas, listen and respond to others, and problem solve as a team.
What is more — by becoming a captain of a team, it can be a child’s first exposure to being in a leadership role, which can be a tremendous boost to their self-esteem and reap big payoffs in later life. Also learning to FOLLOW is as important as learning to lead. Stephanie Britt says everyone has a role and purpose in life. Team sports teaches everyone that they play a role and no matter how important that role may feel, the team cant function if everyone doesn’t fulfill their role.
Building a Greater Amount of Confidence
Making that first goal, landing a first back handspring — and so many more small wins — can build excitement and self-esteem in a child. Even simply reaching a personal best, a child will be able to see and feel that they are making progress and evolving. The best things you can do as a parent is to encourage them to keep trying and keep working toward a goal as they grow.
Where constructive criticism is warranted, children can learn that not being perfect is okay, and that other people can help us to be our best. Here, it helps for parents and coaches to spin their feedback in a motivational way, and by rewarding children for their effort, it will help them to keep pushing their own limits.
Improved Academic Success
Recent studies demonstrate that extracurricular activities also improve academic performance. Research from Penn State in 2013 found that playing sports increased a child’s potential of doing well in school and improved their chances of attending a post secondary institution. Stephanie Britt explains how exercise increases blood flow to the brain, allowing for a greater connection between nerves, leading to increased concentration and enhanced problem-solving skills.
Stephanie Britt claims that physical activity is a powerful tool when it comes to personal and professional success and getting your child involved in an extracurricular activity is a great place to start. Team sports require a certain mental attitude that promotes positive thinking, competition, life skills, and pride. Also an identity! She recommends parents play with your kids at home, be their first coach! Teach them basic child play like throwing and catching and cartwheels. Then enroll their child in a sport and make them stick with it for a season. Even when they are not excited or not having fun, remember its REWARDING and makes them successful in the future.