5 Things Kids Learn from Sports
Kids are back to school and sports are in full swing. Sure, everyone knows that sports help them stay physically fit, but here are some other benefits you might not realize your child gains.
- Improved social interaction: Children spend an average of 27 hours per week on screen time. By participating in sports, they get to spend more time with kids their own age which leads to friendships and a stronger sense of community. According to a study by Ohio University, 81% of parents believe that sports help their children learn about discipline and 78% say it teaches them to get along with others.
- Higher grades: Parents tend to worry that if too much time is dedicated to sports their children’s grades will suffer, but ample evidence points to the opposite. In a 2012 study of 35,000 student athletes in the Los Angeles Unified School District, it was found that athletes were present in school about three weeks more per year than non-athletes and had higher grade point averages by as much as 0.55 to 0.74.
- Improved listening skills: During a game kids must communicate both verbally and with non-verbal cues. Children to share their ideas and problem solve to improve their chances of winning. By listening to coaches, athletes learn to break down complicated plays into bite-sized information they can focus on to achieve the overall goal. Coaches note that the students who improve the most are the ones who ask questions and then are willing to practice the advice given.
- Lower dropout rate: A study from the University of Kansas found that students in Kansas had a higher graduation rate than non-athletes. 98% of athletes finished high school while only 90% of non-athletes graduated. The lead researcher, Angela Lumpkin, thinks since the students need to earn the right to participate, they end up completing a mandatory course credits. Whatever the reason, the results are impressive.
- Increased confidence: As kids feel a sense of accomplishment to master physical skills. Sports help kids stay in shape which also gives them a more positive body image. Whether a kid wins or loses the game, there are always lessons to be learned about putting in effort, keeping egos in check and learning from mistakes. These soft skills carry forward not just in school but in work and life.
Sports can change lives. Focus on having fun over winning and you and your kids will both see the benefits.