Kids can learn a lot of great lessons from sports, even if some of them are a little painful at the time.
The benefits of sports for young people are many, and they are well-documented: physical fitness, confidence, and making friends are among the top reasons to engage your kids in various sports. Whether they only play for a few years while they are young, or play all the way through high school and beyond, the benefits of playing sports can last a lifetime.
One of the challenges that some parents face when placing their children into sports is that not all of the lessons they learn will be painless at the time. In addition to the many great times that will be had on the field or the court, there are likely to be some tough times as well. It is likely that those difficult moments will be even more valuable compared to positive experiences in the long run, but it might not feel like it at the moment. It is important for parents to let their kids learn these lessons so they can grow both on and off the field.
Below are three hard lessons that kids can learn from sports :
1. You Won’t Always Be the Best
It is rare for anyone who plays sports to never come across someone who is better than them. If you played sports growing up, you surely know the feeling of realizing that there are kids who are better than you. This moment comes at a different age for everyone – maybe it happens early in grade school, or maybe it doesn’t happen until college if you are essentially the star athlete in high school.
Learning this lesson as a young person is invaluable because it shows kids that it is okay not to be the best, or the most talented, as long as they work hard and try their best. Success in life is more about effort than talent, so learning to compete against those who are more talented than you is a great lesson to learn.
2. Things Don’t Always Go Your Way
Adversity and sports go hand in hand. Anyone who has ever stepped onto a field or court to compete in a sporting event understands that there will be challenges along the way that you don’t expect. Sometimes, it comes in the form of a bad call from a referee. Other times it might be making a crucial mistake at the wrong time that costs your team the game. Of course, adversity in real life is just as common as it is in sports, so learning to deal with it is a great thing for a young person.
3. Losing Happens
Most kids are naturally competitive and want to do everything they can to win. There is nothing wrong with that, but losing is a part of sports – and a part of life. Some kids have trouble dealing with losing at first, so it is important that they experience this feeling and learn how to deal with it. When kids learn at a young age that it is okay to lose as long as they try their best, that lesson can serve them well as they move on in life.