Have you noticed that many kids today seem different than when you and I were kids? Kids today are more likely to be overweight or obese. They are more likely to be sick constantly and suffer from severe allergies. Many have a difficult time socializing. They are even more likely to suffer from depression. There are many reasons for this. If you spend even a little time on Wellness Achiever, you will discover many of the reasons. I want to propose one very important and powerful solution for these problems – youth sports. There are many amazing, healthy benefits of youth sports for your kids.
Growing up – like many of you – I was a very active child. While I didn’t have the opportunity to participate in youth sports as a child (for various reasons), I did not spend much time inside in front the television, devouring unhealthy snacks. I didn’t spend a lot of time playing video games. Don’t misunderstand – there is nothing wrong with watching television, playing video games or consuming the occasional junk food snack. However, there is a very unhealthy imbalance of these activities in today’s youth.
If you are a parent, you know that finding and enforcing balance for you kids can be quite challenging! I have recently begun coaching kids in a local youth sports league. I have discovered that the benefits of youth sports helps tremendously. This is evident for my own child, as well as, the other children that I have the opportunity to coach.
The Amazing Benefits of Youth Sports for Your Kids
- Optimum Health and Well-being. This one is pretty obvious but should not be overlooked. I could cite a very long list of research that shows the benefits of physical activity and exercise for children and adults alike. However, most kids today do not engage in much physical activity at all. Participating in youth sports provides regular opportunities for a variety of exercise. This will improve your child’s health and overall well-being. Consistent involvement in youth sports will also instill in them the long term desire to stay active and healthy. Kids who participate in youth sports will grow up to be healthy, active adults.
- Healthy Immune System. From the common cold and flu to seasonal allergies and even severe, deadly allergies – kids today are suffering from an epidemic of poor immune system health. Physical activity, regular exercise and a positive mental outlook have all been shown to dramatically improve the function of your immune system. This is a huge benefit! No parent wants to see their child suffer from sickness and allergies. Forget the vaccines and antibiotics! The regular physical activity and positive encouragement of youth sports will go a long way to boost your child’s immune health.
- Reduced Risk of Obesity. We are a fast food nation! It is no secret that Americans suffer from an obesity epidemic. In fact, we have more overweight and obese adults (more than ⅔!) than we do healthy weight adults. The habits that produce this outcome start very early in life. While healthy nutrition is the key to avoiding and overcoming obesity, exercise is a necessary component. The right kind exercise causes your body to produce hormones that burn fat and build muscle. This type of exercise is characteristic of the physical activity of most sports.
- Healthy Self Image and Confidence. Today’s youth also suffer with low self esteem and an unhealthy self image. It is important, as parents, to help our children regain a balance in this area. We do not want our kids to become conceited or develop a sense of entitlement. However, they need to have a positive self image that produces confidence in themselves and their abilities. Youth sports coaches can help foster this in your child. Of course, choosing the right youth sports league is very important to achieve this!
- Sense of Belonging to a Community. Ours is a world of isolation. American society has moved away from close knit communities. Family support is often lacking as well. Nonetheless, all of us need community. We need to learn how to develop positive healthy relationships. Learning this early in life will save your child a lot trouble in adulthood.
- Development of Leadership Skills. Learning good sportsmanship produces good leadership skills. The right youth sports league should have a focus on this aspect for your child as well. Regardless of what vocation or profession your child chooses in life, the leadership skills they begin to develop in youth sports will contribute to their success.
- Awareness of Your Life’s Purpose. Life is about more than just ourselves. Life is also more than just winning games. There is a reason for your life, a reason you exist. That reason is bigger than just sports! I believe that youth sports should and can also instill this awareness in your child.
Why Upward Sports is a Perfect Fit
I coach in an Upward Sports league in my community. Upward Sports is different than other youth sports leagues. Upward Sports develops total athletes mentally, athletically, spiritually, and socially – producing players who excel both on and off the field. This environment uniquely produces all the benefits of youth sports that I discussed above.
Upward Sports programs focus on developing youth athletes:
- Mentally – positively encouraging and coaching them to learn to make wise decisions
- Athletically – improving your child’s physical abilities from discovering sports skills to developing a mastery of them.
- Spiritually – teaching youth to embrace life’s purpose and discover God’s ultimate plan for their lives.
- Socially – producing new friendships, fostering development of healthy relationships and learning to put others needs ahead of our own.
What’s Next for You?
If we want to produce a better future, it starts with our youth. These are truly some amazing benefits of youth sports for you kids. I encourage you to seek out a youth sports league for your kids today. Better yet, volunteer to coach youth sports. I am certain that you will find it to be an extremely rewarding experience!
You can learn more about Upward Sports at their website Upward.org. If you live in the Saint Augustine, FL area, you can join me in our Upward Sports league at Turning Point at Calvary. Go to Tpcalvary.com/upward to register your kids for Upward Sports at Turning Point. Help your children experience the many benefits of youth sports today!