Pre-teen and teenage years are often trying times for kids physically, emotionally and mentally. However, studies have shown that playing team sports can help them ward off depression.
During the preteen and teenage years, many physical, emotional, mental, and social changes happen. As a result, anxiety and depression may kick in.
Also, at this stage, your child may not even tell you what he or she is going through. Thankfully, studies have shown that team sports can help with depression.
Playing team sports can help kids with depression
A study has found that playing team sports can help kids with depression. The study checked the relationship between mental health and team sports. Children who had bad childhood experiences participated in the study. These experiences included emotional issues, sexual abuse, alcoholic and absent parents. The result showed that depression was lower in adults who played team sports as kids. Playing team sports increased the mental strength of those kids as they went into adulthood.
Hence, for parents who don’t let their kids play sports, maybe it’s time to have a change of heart. Understandably, some parents fear their kids may get injured. Also, there’s the case of not seeing the point since the child isn’t trying to be an athlete. But your child playing team sports doesn’t have to be about being an athlete. If for nothing else, you can let the child do it for fun. However, there are other benefits to letting your child play team sports. Team sports are organised in such a way that they are not about one person. It’s about a group of people trying to achieve a common goal. As each team member helps to achieve this goal, your child also picks up life lessons. There are many benefits to team sports.
Benefits of team sports
Improved mental health
Your children will start to build confidence early on in life and this will help reduce the impact that negative messages can have on them. Negative messages are everywhere, and could even come from parents. They include talks about body weight, behaviours, and unnecessary comparisons. Unfortunately, these things affect self-esteem and can weigh your kids down, even causing depression sometimes. However, playing team sports help make your kids feel like they’re part of something bigger, thereby improving mental health.
Building social skills
Even as adults, it’s not always easy to connect with other people. Neither is it easy to make friends and feel relaxed in social settings. So you can imagine how difficult that must be for your kids. But playing team sports can help ease that difficulty. United by a common goal, your kids can easily make friends with other kids in the group.
The thing about sports is that you will compete and you will lose sometimes. That’s for sure. When your kids play team sports deal, it will help them learn to deal with losing the right way. Plus, it teaches them to pick themselves up and go again. Basically, that’s what life is all about. You compete, win sometimes and lose sometimes. Also, every child has to even compete to win a place in the team. That builds character.
Creates discipline and dedication
To win in sports, you have to be disciplined and dedicated to the cause. Simply, you have to show up and give it everything you have. And nothing teaches dedication like a group trying to achieve something. Kids look at their teammates and see how much they’re trying. This makes them want to give even more. To make it in life the same attitude is needed. It doesn’t hurt to learn it early.
How do I get my child to love and play with a team?
Do the basics
Like most things, practice simple things with your child. Whichever team sports your kid wants to play, better to start with the basics. One-Hour training outside is alright. Let him or her do random things. Maybe running around or just climbing stuff. Also, let the child lead.
Don’t do too much
It’s okay to be excited about your child playing team sports. But don’t do things excessively by enrolling the child in five different sports. Neither should you excessively focus your child on a single sport. This is because you may bore or tire your child out. The trick is to find a balance. This way, your child can have a healthy amount of options.
Let your child decide
Many times, you want one thing while your child wants something else. Or you just enrol your child in the same group as his or her friends. This is not always the best thing to do. Instead, ask your child what he or she wants.
After your child joins a team, it may be harder than expected. This might make your child want to quit. So, explain to your child that he or she should see the season through. At this age, you’re teaching your child responsibility.
Comparing your child to another brings unnecessary pressure. This pressure might make your child quit. Instead, remind your child to focus only on him or herself. Also, errors are part of team sports. Therefore, when an error occurs, make sure you’re there with encouragement.
Look out for burnouts . Give your child breaks. When children are pushed to the limit, they tend to suffer. This shows in their sudden disinterest in the sport.
Healthline . Cleveland Clinic
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