It’s the time of year again. The gloom of winter is behind us and the ball park is calling our name. My boys just started little league and I can’t but help think back to my childhood. Where I grew up, we lived for baseball. Looking back, it seems that playing ball may have been an actual requirement to live there. Everyone lived at the ball park in the summer. If you look through any Jr. High yearbook it will say, “Stay cute and cool and see you at the ball park.” Maybe that’s why I get so excited to see my boys dressed in their uniforms and beginning to learn the game.
I know that not all children love being involved in sports, but sports, in general, offer many physical, mental and emotional benefits to kids. Here’s my top 20:
20 Benefits of Playing Sports
2-Help children maintain a healthy weight and reduce obesity and Type 2 diabetes later in life.
3-Increase speed and stamina
4-Help children build better coordination and balance
5-Have a positive effect on a child’s heart and lungs.
6-Can create habits that contribute to children becoming healthy and active adults.
7-Instill pride and sense of accomplishment as children set goals and work hard to achieve them.
8-Improve creative and strategic thinking as children learn the rules of the game and the best ways to play.
9-Teach children to deal with different types of personalities such as bullies, cheaters and poor sports. This can help them deal with these same types of personalities as adults.
10-Teach communication skills and how to get along and work as a team.
11-Teach children that winning and losing are a part of life and how to deal with victory and defeat in an acceptable way.
12-Burn off aggression and decrease anxiety and stress.
13-Help to keep kids away from drugs and smoking because they can see how those things can negatively affect their ability to play well.
14-Teach leadership skills and teamwork as children learn to work together on a team. These skills can help kids do well in school and later in life.
15-Build friendships and can help children build strong relationships later in life.
16-Can increase math skills as children learn how to score games and read stats.
17-Help children develop discipline and an understanding of hard work. They learn that if they want to improve their skills they have to practice.
18-Teach children how to socialize and how to listen to and take advice from a coach.
19-Instill the knowledge that life isn’t always fair and doesn’t always turn out the way we would like it to.
20-Can improve self-esteem and help create a positive body image because regular exercise has a positive effect on mood and outlook.
Whether a child is a natural athlete or not ( I have one of each), there are many benefits for children to get outside, away from the electronic devices that seem to have taken over our homes, and play ball.
See you at the ball park!