Posted on August 09, 2017 by Kim Mead

You guessed it, it’s that time! You may be thinking time for what? Well it’s time to talk about sports! I have used the word ‘time’ quite frequently thus far but it holds great importance to what I am about to talk about. Which is why children should get into sports at a young age?

Sports bring a wide variety of physical, mental as well as social skills which will help them as they grow into adults and beyond. I shall list a few benefits to why sports can be a valuable tool in everyday activities as well as what can come from starting sports at a young age. That being said, they can get into sport in the older stages of childhood, but the later they start the less likely they will be to consider it as important part of their everyday lives.

As an adult, it’s important that you’re a positive role model. Making healthy lifestyle choices and doing regular exercise as a parent, your child will soon pick up on these traits and take an interest to be active in exercise as well. A fit and active body has been proven to aid having a fit and active mind, as it helps reduce stress and increase mental health. This will then help build a healthy wellbeing that will last them in the later stages of life.

One of the best ways to help children’s social skills is by getting them involved in sports, especially team sports such as football, rugby, basketball, netball etc. The reason being it helps communicating new ideas, listening to others as part of a team and coming together to solve problems that you may encounter collectively as a group. This could then grow characteristics of being a leader out of a few in the team, like becoming the team captain. These conversational skills play an important role in a team or as a leader and will come in handy as an adult in the future.

Sport is a great way to boost a child’s confidence through encouragement and compliments which will highlight the areas where they are doing particularly well in. As a coach and/or parent, children are more likely to look up to you as a role model as you are classed as a figure that holds authority. Make use of this and help grow these young children into possible athletes or to promote a healthy lifestyle. That being said some children can also learn to take constructive criticism which can benefit them in the long term. Advice and tips can bring motivation, seeing when they act upon the words or instruction can bring self-satisfaction that they are taking on board what you saying which you can then encourage them for.

As I briefly mentioned earlier, this can help mould a potential athlete. Me personally, I had dreams of becoming a professional footballer which was made possible from the guidance of many coaches I worked under. However this wasn’t meant to be as suffering a lot of injuries halted my progression which led to me missing out. Many children however may be naturally talented at a particular sport, so it’s important to help nurture that talent and teach them to work hard at what they are good at, as talent can only take you so far. If you apply the time and dedication to these talents more often than not it can take you to the very top. But only if they’re willing and it’s something they enjoy doing – try not to force it upon them as it can possibly make them fall out of love for whatever sport they specifically talented at.

This is where time holds great value – as an adult I know time is hard to come by in everyday life but it’s important to take the time to encourage your children/nephew and nieces, whatever the case may be, to get into sports and if they then want to take it seriously to support them as much as you can. This could be the real difference between not only building a better relationship with them but also possibly helping grow them into a potential sports superstar or icon. Trust me when I say more time than not they will be grateful for the time you have put into them.

I hope the information I have given has been of some benefit to you. There is many more benefits to sports that I haven’t even touched on, but if interested have look online of what other positives sport can bring to your everyday life.

Ryan Scott, Gym & Spa Operative, One Tower Bridge