Participation in Youth Sports has steadily been on the rise for the past twenty years. Millions of children across the country take part in one or more youth sports throughout the year. It is not uncommon for children to start participating in youth sports as early as four to five years of age.
Based on this information and based on the amount of time that children spend participating in youth sports, it is critically important that they are provided with an experience that offers them many benefits. This responsibility falls on the shoulders of the coaches and parents that often volunteer their time to work with these young athletes.
When an athlete participates in a sport, they will experience many benefits. Some of these will be short-term and easily recognized. While others will not be as easy to recognize, but will last with the athlete much longer and will help shape their overall development.
The ten benefits below are most commonly associated with youth sports participation. It is important to note that in order for these benefits to be recognized and appreciated by the athlete, they must be included and emphasized in all practice and game plans.
By participating in youth sports, the young athlete will:
1. Develop and become proficient at the various sports skills.
2. Develop skills needed to socialize with their peers as well as adults.
3. Develop independence and confidence.
4. Develop a sense of achievement, which helps develop a positive self-image.
5. Develop leadership skills and qualities.
6. Learn how to cooperate and compete.
7. Develop agility, coordination, endurance, flexibility, speed and strength.
8. Develop the ability to make decisions and accept responsibilities.
9. Learn to understand and express emotions, imagination, and appreciation for what the body can do.
10. Develop an interest in continuing sports participation as an adult.
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By: Joe Waters