Playing sports has always been a favorite pastime for children and adults, but most people don’t realize that participation in sports can offer emotional, social, and physical benefits to your children or yourself. Some benefits are immediately noticeable, such as the ability to get healthier and lose weight, but others aren’t as noticeable, such as learning how to lose gracefully and still stay positive.
Of course, it is easy to see the physical benefits of sports participation. You may notice that your cardiovascular health improves; you may spend less time wheezing and may get physically fitter. You may also notice weight loss, which is helpful if you are overweight or obese.
You may also notice that your body gets stronger; you may be able to run for longer periods, walk up and down the stairs more without tiring, and find that your overall life is improved. Along with such, sports can also help develop coordination; your eyes see things more quickly, and your body can react to it faster, as well.
While it may surprise you to learn, playing a sport can also help you eat and live healthier. You want to stay active even when it’s the off-season for the sport so that you’re prepared when it’s time to play again. Along with such, you’re more likely to eat healthy foods and eat smaller portions to ensure that you’re fit and healthy enough to play the sport you love.
Many people, both young and old, find that social niceties disappear over time. When playing sports, you must work as a team. Regardless of the sport, one person must pass the ball to another so that it can get to the goal or hoop. Everyone learns how to work together, which improves their social acuity.
You also learn how to play fair; it’s tempting to cheat, but you know that if you’re caught, the entire team suffers. You can learn how to play fair, which can help you in life and work/school social situations.
Regardless of whether you’re the top player or not, you learn about leadership, either directly or indirectly. You learn to take direction from the coach and other players, but you also learn how to get motivated and motivate others.
Respect can also be taught through sports. You must learn to respect the people on your team and those on the opposing team. This can help you learn to respect the law, your parents, and other authority figures in your life. You may have issues with beliefs, but you can still respect people who are different than you.
The emotional benefits of sports participation are also plentiful and not well known. You can build your confidence and self-esteem. While you may not be the best, you can improve; you’re also part of something bigger than yourself which helps you feel better and more confident.
Another big advantage is that you are going to learn about losing. You can’t win every game, but you can learn how to respect those who won and lose gracefully. When you do win, you’re less likely to rub it in the other team’s faces because you learn empathy. You know how you felt when you lost, so you’re less likely to be cruel to others.
Playing sports can also reduce stress levels. When you’re stressed, you become more anxious, which can lead to depression and other mental health issues. It can also cause physical problems, such as heart disease.