Kids’ Involvement in School Sports
In my previous postings, I have written about the benefits of kids’ involvement in arts programs, like the band, orchestra, choir, and other groups. Many of the same benefits carry over with kids’ participation in school sports programs. The beauty of most elementary and middle school sports programs is that the students don’t have to be terrific athletes to participate and play. As sports programs move into high school, they tend to get more competitive, which is why I still prefer kids’ involvement in the arts. However, the lower-level teams can also be of great benefit. Is your child participating in school sports activities or other organizations one or more hours a week? Research from the Search Institute (https://search-institute.org) has shown that kids involved in school sports one or more hours a week develop a higher resiliency in their lives.
Resilience is the Teflon coating of life that gives them perseverance, determination, and the ability to move through difficulties more quickly. It also puts them with a great group of kids, which aligns with my previous post of ensuring that your kids are involved with kids who are better than themselves. Today’s coaches check the grades of their team members very carefully, and in many states, grade level GPA is a requirement to participate. I found the busier that I was in high school, the better my grades because I knew I only had so much time and that I needed to get things done when parents take time to understand their kids to and from practices and attend the games, kids notice, which adds to their resiliency. After all, they feel that parental support.
Find a program in your community for your kids to participate in, whether it be school, private, intermural, or intramural sports. Check the YMCA or other groups that may be in or near your community. If you live in a rural area, then school sports is it. I recently watched a volleyball team at Kit Carson, CO practice, and I must say, you didn’t have to wait for very long to notice immediately the tremendous pride, sportsmanship, and effort that showed at every practice. Very positive thinking and goal settings took place right from the start. Guess what? They ended up at the State Playoffs–not surprising with their level of energy and dedication. These are great kids and the exact type of kids you want your kids to be around. I challenge parents to get their kids involved in school sports; no matter the sacrifice to make it happen, you will be glad that you did.
Along these lines, I have a blog post on Resilience in Kids: Clubs & Activities at Resilience in Kids: Clubs & Activities – Dr. Rich Patterson (pattersonphd.com)
A great resource for understanding the benefits of sports can be found at 4KidzSports – High Self Esteem and Positive Behaviors
Yours for Better Parenting,