A few years ago when I signed my son up for Flag Football at our local YMCA, I thought I was just providing him with a fun, active way to spend a few afternoons per week. He's an energetic kid, so it was good for him to play with friends and burn off some energy. It turned out that he got so much more than exercise.
I didn't realize what a meaningful impact sports would have on his mind and personality. He seemed more confident and I could tell that he was thinking about things in a whole new way. I hadn't thought about these changes for a while until I saw this CNBC article. It stated that said that a disproportionate number of CEOs played sports in their youth. This fact piqued my curiosity, so I dug a bit deeper. I found a comprehensive survey that showed 95 percent of Fortune 500 CEOs participated in athletics.
This evidence suggests that sports may have had a dramatic effect on the business-people in these studies. Could it have made a similar impact on my son? How could sports play such an important role in a child's development?
It begins to make sense when you see the life lessons that kids learn through team sports. When they play, they:
At every age level, players are responsible for a certain aspect of their team — attacking, defending or simply controlling a certain zone on the field. During the course of a game, players make quick decisions and communicate their thoughts with their teammates to accomplish individual and team goals.
While it's important to lead, it's equally beneficial for kids to learn how to follow. During practice, players are taught by their coaches the best way to operate as a team. It can be invaluable for a child to learn how to take that instruction from practice sessions and apply it to a game situation.Losses happen in team sports. But sometimes children learn more from defeats than they do from victories. With the help of their coach, the team understands what they did well and what they need to do better next time. Children feel an immense sense of accomplishment when they turn a negative experience into a positive one.
Sports are a perfect way to teach kids that hard work pays off. The player they are at the beginning of the season will not compare to the one they are at the end of the year. Through the work they put in during practices and games, they may find that skills that used to be difficult or impossible now come naturally.
The YMCA of Greater Charlotte bases their mission around youth development, so it's no wonder that their youth sports leagues are among the most popular in the area. Registration for soccer,flag footballand volleyballis open now. Spend this spring teaching your child lessons that will last a lifetime!