There has been a lot of debate about whether playing competitive sports is positive or negative for young children. Is competition good for the development of your child? Why should kids compete against each other? Will playing competitive sports help them succeed as adults? These are all very important and valid questions, but it’s how children and their parents approach competitive sports that will determine the benefits or drawbacks experienced by each individual child. By putting too much focus on the competitive aspects, such as always needing to win, being the best player in the team and being critical of mistakes, then it can become toxic to a child’s development. But when approached with the right attitude and focusing on the many positive aspects of competitive sports it can have many benefits for children. Here are some of the main reasons why experiencing competitive sports is good for young children:
By competing against others, especially others that are more developed than us, we must improve. Often learning great lessons from playing against stronger opponents. Also, when there is a match, competition, or prize to strive for, we have more motivation to train harder in order to be successful.
Fear of competition or failing can paralyse kids (and adults), stopping them from participating in many experiences life has to offer. When they realise that, competition, in the sporting arena, is not as scary as they think, this new-found courage often carries over to other areas of their life.
When taking score, there is greater motivation to give our best effort in order to win. And, when we lose, we are better able to discover what we need to improve in order get a better results next time.
Whether we like it or not, there are times in life when we will all be under some form of pressure. Personal, career, education, social etc. Competition helps us learn to perform under pressure. As well as, keeping our nerve when we’re reach outside our comfort zone.
Learning how accept defeat or situations that do not go exactly as you’d hoped is a valuable characteristic that children will develop through competitive sport. Learning that losing is a simple part of life and that it helps us to grow when we are young helps us handle the ups and downs of life as we grow older.
There are many areas of life where kids can learn how to set and achieve goals. But, when goal setting is undertaken in a competitive sporting environment, it often increases accountability and motivation. As goal setting provides clear deadlines, scorecards and regular progress checks.
Entering the competitive sporting arena comes with many risks that can seem daunting to a young child. As they learn to approach and overcome these risks and see the potential rewards they become better at weighing up more important risky situations that they will encounter in life.
Playing sport as a kid should always be focused around fun. Playing games and meeting new friends is one the best parts of being a kid. And, competitive sport provides a safe and supportive environment for children to get fit and have fun.
Developing a child’s self-confidence can only come from achieving meaningful goals. Goals, that they’ve worked hard for. It can’t simply be taught or given to them. Knowing how to learn new talents and come back from adversity, to eventually triumph, are some of the best ways to build strong self-confidence. In addition, this opportunity is given to kids on a weekly basis when they play competitive sports.
Discipline is a key skill in every competitive sport. Whether it is going to training regularly, playing within the rules or following the team’s game plan, it all requires self-discipline. Kids who play sport learn that, to get the results they want, requires discipline and commitment to taking the small, simple actions. That, will help them reach theirs and their teams goals.
When playing in competitive team sports there are numerous kids and adults working together with shared interests and shared goals. The friends and connections made through competitive sports can last a lifetime and provide opportunities that would never have been available otherwise.
As your child develops their skills there will be many opportunities to travel to play in other towns, states or even overseas depending on the sport. If they decide to pursue a career as a professional athlete this can provide many more opportunities for travel and lifestyle benefits that many people aspire to.
Research studies have shown, time and time again, that children who play competitive sports often get better grades in school. Also, they are more likely to complete high school and tertiary studies. Also, children can achieve many of the benefits above through other means. Such as, music, art and faith based activities, but lack in one key area we didn’t mention above. That is improving the health and fitness of your child, which has a long list of benefits in itself. Moreover, with the right approach, focus and spirit, competitive sports provides a great opportunity for growth, learning and fun. Something that all kids should experience.
So, if you’re looking to ease your child into competitive sports. Then, Australian Sports Camps provide 3 day sports camps for kids between the ages of 6 and 16. Introduce your child to their chosen sport at sports camps during school holiday. All within a fun, safe and enjoyable environment. Not only will your kids have a blast, you can affordably trial sports to see whether they enjoy it. And, whether they want to do more of it. Join us at the best sports camps in the country with new camps available now.