Benefits of Team Sports

By Nora Heston Tarte

No child is created equal. Some may thrive in athletics, while others may struggle to keep up. Some may need to learn how to cooperate with others and embrace a team mentality, while others may need help coming out of their shells. “I believe all kids can benefit from team sports. I also believe it takes patience to find each child’s learning styles,” says Trinity Brown, an umpire-in- chief and board member of the Lincoln Girls Softball Association, with more than six years of experience coaching boys and girls teams in the Greater Sacramento area.

The Physical:
The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention recommend a minimum of 60 minutes of exercise per day for children and adolescents. A great way to carve this time out in busy schedules is to sign your child up for a team sport. Making exercise part of a routine can help. Also, many kids who frown at going for a jog or participating in individual pursuits, will be more inclined to exercise if they find the process fun.

According to a 2011 study conducted by Y-USA, 74 percent of children between the ages of 5 and 10 do not get 60 minutes of exercise daily. Not getting enough exercise leads to obesity, heart disease, diabetes and other serious and sometimes life threatening illnesses. Getting your child active now will set them up to be healthier later in life.

The Mental:
Studies support that kids who participate in team sports perform better in school. The CDC even noted a correlation between kids who participate in team sports in high school and dropout rates, finding high school athletes were more likely to graduate. How one relates to the other is up for debate, but many theories support that the skills learned in team sports—such as discipline, time management, memorization, goal setting, determination and more—translate to the classroom.

Participating in team sports can bolster mental health, as well. The chemical reactions exercise create in the body reduce the likelihood of depression, while girls who participate in sports as they age are less likely to develop eating disorders or use illicit drugs. The self-esteem and confidence children get through exercise and skill building, as well as through being part of a team, plays a part. As kids reach their goals and increase their stamina and grow other talents, they begin to see themselves in a more positive light.

During middle childhood (described as 6 to 8 years of age), children are becoming more independent, placing more emphasis on friendships and looking to find their place in the world. While team sports can garner positive outcomes for children of all ages, there is reason the CDC recommends parents get their children involved in group activities during this formative time.

The Social:
Whether a child is shy or outgoing, athletically inclined or a bit clumsy, team sports can have a positive impact. A child who struggles to make friends may bond with teammates over their shared passion, while a rambunctious child will enjoy an outlet for excess energy, (which may in turn, keep them out of trouble). “Children that are more reserved benefit from the friendships that develop during a season. They also learn they have a voice in a crowd,” Trinity says. Children who are part of a team learn how to work together, build leadership skills and depend on each other.

Team sports teach them how to manage expectations—winning and losing is not solely dependent on their individual performance—and to be reliable and less selfish. For example, a child might prioritize a team because they understand their efforts affect their teammates. “I think being accountable as part of a team, can encourage children to be more motivated than an individual sport might,” Trinity says.

This team mindset commonly stretches beyond the field, court or pool and transfers into the workplace where people who have participated in team sports are more likely to be a team player and display positive leadership. “I believe that team sports are practice for life, and the skills learned carry nicely into everyday life,” Trinity says. At the same time, children are learning how to foster friendships and create new social circles. “I'll see young teens that came onto a team not knowing each other, all with their own personalities, and a few games in they all have special handshakes, cheers and nicknames for each other,” Trinity says. “I don't believe that there is anything that provides this kind of kinship that quickly, other than team sports.”

“I remember so fondly all of my teams, that I have coached or played on over the years. Some of my best memories have come from my time as a part of a team.”–Trinity Brown

The Benefits of Starting Young Enrolling young children in team sports has additional perks. Not only are those who exercise regularly as kids more likely to become active adults, they’re also more inclined to profit from the social benefits of team sports. “In the younger age groups [becoming a team] often happens faster,” Trinity says. “I believe that this is because they are grouped for more activities at school. The older age groups tend to take longer, especially the pre-teen girls.”

Nora Heston Tarte is a freelance writer and Sacramento State alum. When she isn’t chasing her 2 year-old son around, she’s musing about motherhood on her blog, www.slightlykrunchymama.blogspot.com.

More Articles

Tahoe: 6 Unique Winter Experiences for Families

By Michelle Kopkash Disco Tube at Squaw Valley Alpine Meadows Families will have a blast disco tubing down snowy lanes…

How I Accidentally Classified My Son as an English Language Learner

By Sumiti Mehta A few months before my son Atiksh entered Kindergarten (2015), I was filling out his admission form…

Teen Creates Website to Encourage Budding Writers

next door | by Shannon Smith Meet Akshaj, a 13 year-old who has been writing since he was just four.…

Tips for Busy Tooth Fairies

An Interview with Miss Meadow, a Tooth Fairy for the Ministry of Molars We talked to Miss Meadow from the…

Talking About Bullying

By Rob Baquera, Public Information Officer, Roseville Police Department When does teasing become bullying? Some would say teasing is a…

Identifying Vision Problems in Your Child

By Aaron Barriga Did you know that 80% of what all children learn is purely visual? This indicates that if…

Don’t Panic About Anxiety: Teach Teens To Navigate Nerves When Anxiousness Strikes

By Christina Katz With so many kids afflicted with anxiety these days, parents are wise to discuss how to manage…

Making a Difference in a Child’s Life Through Big Brothers Big Sisters

By Michelle Carter Photos by: Memories by Michelle Photography | www.mbymphotos.com Do you remember the adults in your childhood that…

Toy Rotation: Reduce Toy Clutter in Six Easy Steps

By Sarah Lyons Toy clutter, it’s a problem all parents face. From the toddler years when blocks, push toys and…

Benefits of Team Sports

By Nora Heston Tarte

No child is created equal. Some may thrive in athletics, while others may struggle to keep up. Some may need to learn how to cooperate with others and embrace a team mentality, while others may need help coming out of their shells. “I believe all kids can benefit from team sports. I also believe it takes patience to find each child’s learning styles,” says Trinity Brown, an umpire-in- chief and board member of the Lincoln Girls Softball Association, with more than six years of experience coaching boys and girls teams in the Greater Sacramento area.

The Physical:
The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention recommend a minimum of 60 minutes of exercise per day for children and adolescents. A great way to carve this time out in busy schedules is to sign your child up for a team sport. Making exercise part of a routine can help. Also, many kids who frown at going for a jog or participating in individual pursuits, will be more inclined to exercise if they find the process fun.

According to a 2011 study conducted by Y-USA, 74 percent of children between the ages of 5 and 10 do not get 60 minutes of exercise daily. Not getting enough exercise leads to obesity, heart disease, diabetes and other serious and sometimes life threatening illnesses. Getting your child active now will set them up to be healthier later in life.

The Mental:
Studies support that kids who participate in team sports perform better in school. The CDC even noted a correlation between kids who participate in team sports in high school and dropout rates, finding high school athletes were more likely to graduate. How one relates to the other is up for debate, but many theories support that the skills learned in team sports—such as discipline, time management, memorization, goal setting, determination and more—translate to the classroom.

Participating in team sports can bolster mental health, as well. The chemical reactions exercise create in the body reduce the likelihood of depression, while girls who participate in sports as they age are less likely to develop eating disorders or use illicit drugs. The self-esteem and confidence children get through exercise and skill building, as well as through being part of a team, plays a part. As kids reach their goals and increase their stamina and grow other talents, they begin to see themselves in a more positive light.

During middle childhood (described as 6 to 8 years of age), children are becoming more independent, placing more emphasis on friendships and looking to find their place in the world. While team sports can garner positive outcomes for children of all ages, there is reason the CDC recommends parents get their children involved in group activities during this formative time.

The Social:
Whether a child is shy or outgoing, athletically inclined or a bit clumsy, team sports can have a positive impact. A child who struggles to make friends may bond with teammates over their shared passion, while a rambunctious child will enjoy an outlet for excess energy, (which may in turn, keep them out of trouble). “Children that are more reserved benefit from the friendships that develop during a season. They also learn they have a voice in a crowd,” Trinity says. Children who are part of a team learn how to work together, build leadership skills and depend on each other.

Team sports teach them how to manage expectations—winning and losing is not solely dependent on their individual performance—and to be reliable and less selfish. For example, a child might prioritize a team because they understand their efforts affect their teammates. “I think being accountable as part of a team, can encourage children to be more motivated than an individual sport might,” Trinity says.

This team mindset commonly stretches beyond the field, court or pool and transfers into the workplace where people who have participated in team sports are more likely to be a team player and display positive leadership. “I believe that team sports are practice for life, and the skills learned carry nicely into everyday life,” Trinity says. At the same time, children are learning how to foster friendships and create new social circles. “I'll see young teens that came onto a team not knowing each other, all with their own personalities, and a few games in they all have special handshakes, cheers and nicknames for each other,” Trinity says. “I don't believe that there is anything that provides this kind of kinship that quickly, other than team sports.”

“I remember so fondly all of my teams, that I have coached or played on over the years. Some of my best memories have come from my time as a part of a team.”–Trinity Brown

The Benefits of Starting Young Enrolling young children in team sports has additional perks. Not only are those who exercise regularly as kids more likely to become active adults, they’re also more inclined to profit from the social benefits of team sports. “In the younger age groups [becoming a team] often happens faster,” Trinity says. “I believe that this is because they are grouped for more activities at school. The older age groups tend to take longer, especially the pre-teen girls.”

Nora Heston Tarte is a freelance writer and Sacramento State alum. When she isn’t chasing her 2 year-old son around, she’s musing about motherhood on her blog, www.slightlykrunchymama.blogspot.com.

More Articles

Children with Autism May Benefit from Soluble Fiber

“Dr. Bill” Sears, M.D. comments on study that finds soluble…

Top 8 Water Safety Tips From Steve Wallen Swim School

By Kaleb Wallen, Steve Wallen Swim School 1. Enroll In…

Fitting In as a Woman of Color

By Sumiti Mehta I am a brown-skinned woman born and…

Are You Tribeless?

By Anna Osborn, LMFT One of the favorite parts of…

Non-Pool Toys that are Perfect for the Pool

By Karissa Tunis Our family loves hanging out at the…

20 Things to do with Kids Under $5 in the Sacramento Region

By Michelle Kopkash You don’t need a lot of money…

A Museum Without Walls…Memorable Experiences Await Inside & Outside the Railroad Museum

A Smithsonian Affiliate located in Old Sacramento State Historic Park,…

JugHead!

By Donna Sangwin, Founder and Executive Director of ReCreate This…

Is Your Car Seat Keeping Your Child Safe?

By Rob Baquera, Public Information Officer, Roseville Police Department With…

Follow Sacramento Parent