NC – The benefits of organized sport to a developing child are endless. While the explicit physical benefits of organized sport are clearly defined, team sport has numerous developmental benefits that go beyond an individual’s physical health. Team sport provides today’s youth with the opportunity to become more independent while developing key life skills such as leadership, discipline, and stress management.
While registering your child for organized sport comes at an increasingly added cost throughout Canada, it truly is an investment in your child’s future.
“Organized sport can have a profound effect on an adolescent’s body and mind. In addition to the known health benefits of physical activity, studies show that participation in team sports is associated with declines in smoking and alcohol consumption. Further, organized sport promotes social interaction and instills confidence within a child that can be transferred to all facets of life”, says Ross Murray, a Sports Psychology Researcher at the University of Stirling.
The benefits of organized sport are clear. However, teams are comprised of numerous different personalities at different stages of development. It is the coach’s job to regulate all the participants and make sure each member of the team is comfortable in their element and able to thrive in the competitive environment.
“The experience each individual has is going to define their association toward organized sport. If a less talented player is chastised or made to feel inferior, they are going to give up on sport. It is important all participants have a clearly defined role on the team that they can excel at, no matter their skill level” says Murray.
In order for youth to get the full benefits of sport, it must extend beyond physical exercise. The coaching influence must focus on establishing clearly defined roles for all participants. If each individual player has his or her own defined role within the team, the sport will become more to the individual than simple physical exercise. Engaging young people into sport is important to communal development in that it emphasizes values such as respect, teamwork, and the acceptance of both positive and negative outcomes. All of which are traits that will be transferred into the professional environment moving forward.