Kids’ sports can get a bad reputation. There are so many stories in the media talking about parents hitting referees, bullying from parents or other players and the thing that I hear about most around here is the amount of concussions. Before you decide that sports isn’t for your child, I want to share the reasons why I want my kids to play sports.
How to Be On Time
I’m sure you’ve heard the saying, “If you’re early, you’re on time. If you’re on time, you’re late.” That was true for many of the teams I played for and we knew that if we were late, running was usually involved (not my favorite thing in the world).
Sometimes fear is a great motivator! It taught me to respect the time of others and if I knew I was going to be late, I would usually call to give them a heads up. And I still try to do that, whether it’s by sending a text or calling them up. Life happens and sometimes we can’t be everywhere we need to right on the dot but by letting people know, we are showing people that we value their time.
How many times have you agreed to meet someone at a certain time and they show up way late? When I’m out and about, I have to make the most of that time because I have a family who needs loving and dinner, as well as a house that needs cleaning. I might be able to finish an errand in the time I wasted waiting. Be courteous and communicate!
It takes a lot of time to learn and get better in sports and without a little patience and focus during practice, you might not enjoy the game all that much. Although practicing wasn’t my favorite thing, I knew how I would perform without it and it pushed me to work harder and smarter rather than drag my feet.
Granted, the sport of softball doesn’t involve as much running as cross country or soccer but we had to do a fair amount of running. In college, we had a shuttles test when we came back from summer break and then again after Christmas break. Passing that test meant we could travel and play with the team. Failing meant we had to do it over and over again until we passed.
Although I tried to enjoy the breaks, that test was always in the back of my mind, pushing me to work on it. I ran up hills, on tracks and through the snow to train for it because I only wanted to have that crappy need-to-throw-up feeling once.
If you can get your kid to work hard without all the complaining, future employers and coaches will thank you!
You may think this is the same as hard work, but I look at it a little bit differently. You can work hard for one practice or one game, but dedication means working hard over and over again. It’s working a little bit each day toward that personal goal.
When I was about 12, I figured that if I practiced throwing pitches for 2 hours one day, it would cover my practice time for the rest of the week. As you can imagine, things didn’t go well the following weekend. I realized that a smaller amount every day benefitted me even more, helping me feel calm and relaxed for the games.
Dedication is not giving up when things get tough and being able to meet opposition and work through it. It can go a lot further than the field, to schoolwork, to goals and conquering other obstacles in our way.
Granted there are several one-player sports but for the most part, you are depending on your team for success. There are times when you might not get along with a teammate but you usually have to push past that to work towards your ultimate goal, whether it be for a big tournament or just an everyday game.
Although not the learn-all when it comes to communication, it helps teach how to talk to one another. In a time when technology and phones can consume kids and teens, this gives them another way of communicating rather than just text.
It also helps problem solve with others. Just like a project at school or work, there are times when you have to put aside differences and work together toward that common goal. This is good for learning how to work with future co-workers and friends.
The importance of exercise
I’m not as in shape as I want to be but I know that exercise is such an important thing. It feels so good to get out and get moving plus when you aren’t thinking about how hard it actually is, running around and playing is a lot more fun.
We still do a couple of sports with family, which helps to keeps us active and have a lot of fun as well! What a great habit to instill in our kids that they can carry throughout their life!
Think outside the box. Running isn’t always the best method to staying in shape. In fact, I’d say that you need a variety for your body to make real changes.
Go ice skating or roller blading. Go for a long walk after dinner. Play at the park and run around the playground. Have an informal game of soccer or lacrosse or football. There are so many possibilities even outside of their organized sports to help the kids have fun with exercise.
For the Fun of it!
There is something about the adrenaline, the exercise, the challenge that can make a sport so thrilling. For kids, it’s so important to teach them about winning and losing (not giving everyone a prize just for participation–life isn’t like that) as well as making it fun for them so they actually want to keep playing.
Fun is the most important part. Because without the fun, the other things we’ve talked about won’t even be remembered or learned as the kid will be going through the motions or want to quit.
Which also means that we, as parents, need to find the line of when to push and when to let them go with it. Maybe one child does better being pushed in a certain way than another. But the most important point is that we don’t take the fun out of the sport at such a young age. Kids are going to lose and make mistakes but it’s not life or death. It’s the memories of hanging out while you wait for a game to start or conquering an intense and critical moment in the game.
What are some reasons you do/don’t want your child to play sports?
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