Select Page

A big debate among parents is when to push kids and when to back off. This issue surfaces in every aspect of their lives from academics to music lessons to team sports. For each child, there is a different answer and for each family a different story, but on the issue of sports, there seem to be a few universal truths.

Sports loom large in our world, and while there are many insidious aspects to this, the value of sports, particularly team sports, in a child’s life cannot be overstated.

One of the good things about sports is that bad things are sure to happen. For example, your child’s team could lose games, he or she might get benched or demoted. This is all good because it is important for your kids to respond, adapt, and deal with all of this for a good foundation later in life.

But kids sometimes want to quit. The practices can get tedious and time-consuming, and the work involved can feel like all too much. We have been there.

The sport our children selected did not matter, neither did the level of play. The benefits accrued from just being on the team. We come down hard on the side of team sports and of making our kids stick it out.

Teenagers and Trouble

Teenagers get into trouble and extra time on their hands doesn’t help. Teens who have practices, games, team dinners and fitness sessions have less time for mischief.

Happier Kids

Teams broaden a kid’s social world and research shows team athletes are happier than kids who do not participate. This study showed that among middle school teens who participated in team sports, “boys were five times more likely, and girls 30 times more likely, to describe their health as fair/poor when they were not playing on a sports team.”

Common Goal

Being part of something larger than yourself and working toward a common goal is always good, always. Teams succeed and fail together, and the value of group effort is reinforced every day.