Team Sports Boost Self Esteem, Build Confidence Among Other Benefits

Team sports are an important part of many children’s lives and offer a multitude of benefits beyond just physical activity. Participation in team sports helps kids to develop strong character traits and values that they can use for the rest of their lives. Here are our top six reasons why your child should play team sports:

1. Boost Self Esteem
Being a part of a team with a united goal creates a sense of community and encourages kids to not only give praise to their teammates, but also to receive praise for their efforts in achieving a bigger goal. Children learn to be confident on the field, which can translate to greater confidence off the field. Even something as small as a pat on the back, a high-five or a quick “good job” can build up your child’s confidence and give them a higher sense of self-esteem towards their personal capabilities.

2. Learn the Building Blocks of A Sport
Team sports when your child is younger isn’t as competitive as it would be in high school or college, which means this is the perfect place for your child to build their skills and develop a solid sports foundation. At the YMCA of Greater Indianapolis, there are non-competitive teams and advanced sports clinics to help bring your child from a beginner player to a skilled athlete ready for bigger and more competitive teams once they get older.

3. Build Important Life Skills
When your child is writing their first resume, what kind of skills will they be able to put on it? Team sports instill a variety of important skills through the nature of being on a team and playing a sport that can’t be learned in a classroom. Athletes learn teamwork and how to work well with others to achieve a common goal. They also learn commitment through consistently showing up for practices and games, especially on days when they really don’t want to.

Athletes, better than anyone, learn the importance of working hard to achieve a goal. Whether it’s making the varsity team, qualifying for state championships or getting a college scholarship offer, young athletes learn hard work and perseverance pay off in the end, which is a skill that they will carry throughout the rest of their lives.

Once they start getting into higher grades in school, your child will learn discipline to manage sports practices, school, homework and more. As your athlete gets older, they’ll learn leadership skills through working with their teammates to develop strategies and potentially working towards a leadership role as captain. They also learn respect for authority and rules. Team sports teach children from a young age the consequences that come with not following rules and they learn to respect coaches, referees and their opponents.

4. Develop A Sense of Belonging
Team sports are just that: A team of young athletes who all work together for a common goal. Through the long practices, travel competitions and post-game dinners, your child will build a strong camaraderie with their team and make lifelong friendships. Even if they’re not best friends with every team member forever, your child will learn social skills and will feel an overall sense of belonging by being a part of something bigger than just them.

5. Stay Active and Healthy
When your child comes home from school, would you rather them hop on the couch and start playing video games or run to their room to get ready for practice? Physical activity is a given with any team sport. But more than that, team sports teach kids to take care of themselves and their bodies. They learn that in order to have enough energy to make it through a full school day, afterschool practice and homework, they’ll need to take care of themselves by eating nutritious meals and staying hydrated.

Coaches are trained to instill good nutrition in their athletes, as well as teach proper techniques to avoid injury and different ways to stay in shape during the off season. Starting education about exercise and nutrition early sets children up for a healthier lifestyle long into adulthood.

6. Healthy Stress Outlet
Exercise is a natural stress reliever and is a great way for your child to let off some steam. Frustrations and stress in other areas in their lives can give your athlete fuel to push themselves on the field and put their feelings into a healthy outlet. Plus, as your child develops bonds with their teammates, they build a support system to help get them through tough days.

Team sports, at any level or type, provide kids with the opportunity to gain important, lifelong skills they wouldn’t otherwise have. The memories made and lessons learned will stay with your child forever and shape them into a confident, disciplined and productive adult. The YMCA of Greater Indianapolis has a variety of competitive team sports available every season plus sports clinics, so sign your child up and give them the chance to be a part of a team and benefit from all that a team sport has to offer.