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Team Sports

Updated on January 8, 2014

Should I enroll my child in a sport?

There are many activities that children can participate in. Some will help them while others will be just for fun and don’t necessarily have any long-term impact on them. All parents have to decide what they let their kids participate in. It could be swim, piano, guitar, drama, voice lessons, or any other activity such as soccer. Parents have the option of enrolling their children in these activities, some kind of sport, or nothing at all.

Of the many sports that a child can affiliate with, each will have some sort of impact on the child, good or bad. It needs to be decided by the parents in advance which sport, or type of sport, would be best for their children, if any at all. There are benefits to all sports, and all can help a child progress in various aspects of his/her life. Children can participate in either individual sports such as ping-pong, tennis, swimming, gymnastics, etc.; or they can participate in team sports such as soccer, football, baseball, or basketball. Do individual sports have a different impact on children than team sports?

Two Types of Sports - Individual and Team

The two types of sports are very different and require different levels of participation. One has to act differently in both types. Sports in general can provide life lessons and help children learn various skills that will help them throughout their lives. Not only are they having fun playing, they are also learning a skill, or set of skills, that will impact their future. The Livestrong foundation has written articles about how sports effect the lives of children. They also give examples of the good that sports can do in their lives. Both individual and team sports can help a child develop good exercise habits, promote adult interaction beyond a parent or relative, help a child obtain the necessary confidence to progress, increase their health, and they can also help children make new friends (Ireland). The Livestrong foundation also realizes the fact that sports can have the opposite effect on children. If they are pushed beyond what they are able, or they are forced to play a sport they are not capable of playing, sports could potentially have negative repercussions for that child (Miller). These means that parents have a lot to think about when deciding on what they will let their children participate in.

Team Sports

Team Sports can:

- Provide life lessons

- Learn various skills

- Develop good exercise habits

- Promote social interaction

- Obtain necessary confidence

Studies Show Kids Should Participate in Sports

It’s an interesting thing to think about as a parent. An article written by leading economists in the VOX journal have released studies that have shown that it’s better that kids participate in sports in order to increase their physical health, their ability to develop skills, and their overall wellness (Felfe, Lechner, and Steinmayr). Basically, sports are good for children and you as a parent need to decide whichtype of sport and which sports they should participate in.

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Team Sports Are Popular

Team sports are popular because of basketball, football, and in most countries soccer. There are more and more kids that are wanting to participate in these sports for different reasons. Some may be because of their friends, others may be because of their parents. Parents need to consider what impact team sports will have on their children when they are deciding whether or not to let them participate. It is a big decision that doesn’t seem too important that could possibly shape the future lives of your children. Team sports will teach different motor skills and will help children learn discipline better. As the children train together, under the supervision of a coach, they will learn that they need to listen to and obey not only their parents, but other adults too. They will become more disciplined. Will team sports accomplish anything else for children?

Besides the motor skills and a broader understanding of discipline, kids will also learn creative and critical thinking skills. These skills are important for everyone to posses. As mentioned by leading economists in the VOX journal, these skills, creative and critical thinking, will shape the future success of children later in life (Felfe, Lechner, and Steinmayr). They are skills that will benefit the children throughout all stages of life. Not only are they essential, but they need to be developed somehow at a young age.

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Team Sports Help Kids Acquire Necessary Skills for Success

By playing team sports at a young age kids can acquire these skills and start to develop them early in life. In the same VOX journal, they acknowledged that their research specified favorable impacts from sports on kid’s reasoning and non-cognitive skills (Felfe, Lechner, and Steinmayr). An excellent example of how these different thinking skills are developed and used while participating in team sports comes from a study conducted by Daniel Memmert. He talked specifically about soccer and how someone that is thinking critically and creatively will not only see the obvious pass, but will also understand that there is possibly an even better option available. Someone may be wide open because another teammate is double-teamed, for example (108). To be able to recognize this and catch it in time to make the better pass is a sign that critical thinking is involved. It also exemplifies creative thinking. If the kid can change their original plan during the game, make a different pass that is better for the team, and then continue to play, we can conclude that their creativity level has increased.

A child can start to develop skills that will not only be beneficial during a game, but also beneficial when they pursue higher education. As children develop these skills they are increasing the likely hood that they will be successful in both high school and college. If they continue to play team sports throughout their adolescence they will continue to increase their skills throughout high school and be able to use them even more in college. In college they will have to work in teams, they will have to be able to think critically and creatively, and they will need to be prepared. Parents can help their children get on the path that will help them prepare if they let them participate in team sports.

Why Your Kids Should Play Team Sports

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Parents Can Help their Children

Parents can help in the process by letting their children participate in team sports at a young age. If they start early, then they can develop their skills for a longer period of time. This will help them prepare for college and whatever else is in store for them. In the studies performed by some college professors, from a couple of different Universities, it was concluded that physical activity and team sports improve academic achievements. The achievements can be tied to a students’ individual studies. It was determined that team sports helped in a few important categories, of which critical and creative thinking were included (Coe, Pivarnik, Womack, Reeves, and Malina 1518). With the increased push in high school and college for group work, it has become even more important that children learn at a young age how to work with their peers. They will learn the necessary thinking skills needed to be successful. The necessary skills can be developed through team sports.

Team Sports are for Everyone

Team sports can be for everyone. Anyone can be successful if they want to be. While participating they will learn how to work as a team, and as already noted, will develop creative and critical thinking skills. It is through programs, such as team sports, that children, or even adults, can learn how to interact with their fellow men. As these skills are learned, and acquired through practice, children will be more prepared to take on the challenges that await them as they prepare for college. In general, sports, will help the average person a lot in life. Lessons can be learned from both individual sports and team sports. Studies have shown that team sports can lead to a better academic life because of the skills that they teach. While many believe team sports benefit children through teaching motor skills and instilling discipline, participating in team sports also helps student athletes prepare for college insofar as team sports encourage creative and critical thinking. All the skills taught by team sports, especially creative and critical thinking skills, will impact a child in both the short-term and long-term. The effects will be apparent as children grow up and go through high school and college.

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Works Cited

Coe, Dawn Podulka, James M. Pivarnik, Christopher J. Womack, Mathew J. Reeves, and Robert M. Malina. “Medicine & Science in Sports & Exercise.” Medicine & Science in Sports & Exercise. (2006): 1518. Web. 26 Oct. 2012.

Felfe, Christina, Michael Lechner, and Andreas Steinmayr. “VOX” VOX. (2011). Web. 26 Oct. 2012.

Ireland, Jae. “Social Effects of Sports on Young Children.” Livestrong.com: The Limitless Potential of You. Demand Media, Inc, 26 2011. Web. 26 Oct. 2012.

Memmert, Daniel. “High Ability Studies.” High Ability Studies. 17.1 (2006): 108. Web. 26 Oct. 2012.

Miller, Christa. “How do Sports Affect Children?.” Livestrong.com: The Limitless Potential of You. Demand Media, Inc, 29 2010. Web. 26 Oct. 2012.

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