5 Reasons to Encourage Your Family to Play Sports

It’s no secret Americans need more exercise. With so many options available for indoor entertainment such as television, movies, and video games, it can be difficult to get kids off the couch and in the backyard to have some fun. Exercise isn’t always exciting, but it can be if you play sports. 

Basketball, football, baseball, soccer, and tennis are all great options for kids to get involved with early on in childhood. These sports all have great benefits that will have a positive effect on your kids’ lives throughout their teenage years and adulthood, and we’ll talk about as many of the positives of the athletic experience as possible. 

Fitness activities are not only great for maintaining physical health, but they also teach kids and adults some great values. Life lessons in teamwork, perseverance and hard work are all taught through playing sports throughout your life. There aren’t many activities that do all of these things simultaneously.

#1 – Exercise Will Prevent Heart Attacks, Strokes, and Other Problems 

It’s important to instill in your children the importance of exercise and staying active from a young age. Getting exercise is proven to be good for your health and prevent issues like heart attacks, strokes, high cholesterol, congestive heart failure, and diabetes. 

The CDC says kids between six and 17 years old need at least an hour of exercise each day. Sports make this amount of exercise much easier to complete than it seems on the surface. 

Kids may not be all that interested in hearing about the health benefits of sports and exercise, though, so try to focus on the aspects of sports your kids will get excited about. Find out what your kids enjoy doing. Do they like being on a team, or do they prefer participating in activities alone? 

#2 – Some Sports Are Simple to Play

It’s important to encourage your kids to play sports that are simple and don’t have that many rules. Kids are also not as coordinated as adults, so certain sports like baseball that require precise skills may result in them getting discouraged. Brainstorm what activities are easier to play. 

A sport like badminton is a classic example of a fun activity that may get kids excited about racket sports like tennis or pickleball in the future. If kids really don’t want to play any sports, maybe try having them play video games requiring physical activity, like “Nintendo Switch Sports”. 

When you combine exercise with activities kids already enjoy doing, this makes the experience easier for everyone involved.

#3 – Sports May Improve Mental Health

Sports are not only good for your physical health, but they also have a tremendous impact on your mental health. Playing sports is a great way for shy kids to start coming out of their shells. When kids struggle to talk to other children their age, sports can become a common interest that creates friendships. 

If your kids see they are good at certain aspects of their favorite sports, it will give them the confidence to continue playing and maybe even try other sports. This is a sign of how strong mental health trickles down to other areas of life. 

Sports encourage strong values like teamwork and perseverance over tough situations. When a kid struggles with certain parts of their sport, whether it’s perfecting their jump shot or getting along with a teammate they don’t like, it creates skills they can take along to other areas of their life at school and eventually in the workforce as an adult. 

Because playing sports is an activity kids become very passionate about, it makes it easier for them to work hard and never give up in life. Make sure you talk to kids about their accomplishments and struggles in sports so they can identify what they’re doing well and what they need to work on. 

#4 – Playing Sports Can Be a Family Activity or a Solo One

Sports are very versatile depending on the one you choose to play. There are team sports such as basketball and baseball; there are individual sports like tennis and golf. This means kids who are more introverted can choose to play solo, or they can choose to play a team sport to become more social. 

Team sports are also a great way for your family to bond with each other. Fathers and sons have long enjoyed playing catch in the backyard, with parents passing down their love of the game to their children. When parents are able to teach their children how to do certain athletic activities, it may help in other areas of their lives and it will create a close relationship. 

There’s one financial drawback to playing sports that has to be addressed. Certain sports like basketball, baseball, and especially golf require expensive equipment. If your family is a lower class, try to start out getting your kids into sports that don’t require any purchases. Soccer is a great example of this. All you need is a ball, a space to play, and some friends.

Soccer requires a lot of people, though, more than just the folks inside your house. Make soccer a community activity. Ask your neighbors to play, and get kids from church or classmates involved. 

#5 – Playing Sports Can Be a Great Extracurricular Activity

For many kids who struggle with school and getting good grades, sports can be an outlet for them. Because sports teams in high school often require a certain grade point average to play, it encourages student-athletes who dislike school to find a way to succeed so they can play. 

Playing sports for a team associated with a school also helps students to build pride in their school. Kids may wear their football jerseys around the school on the day of a game, or even outside of school afterward. This will help students build a positive relationship with their school.

Whether it’s getting your kids the physical activity they need or encouraging them to have fun with like-minded kids on the field, playing sports is one of the best ways for people of all ages to become happier and healthier. Every family in the world should try to find a way to get their kids involved in sports. 

Shawn Laib writes and researches for the insurance comparison site, USInsuranceAgents.com. He wants to help parents and kids find fun and healthy activities.