Why Your Kids SHOULD Play Youth Sports

I have seen a lot of folks trying to determine if they should let their children play sports. Money, time, failures and injuries are some of the issues that make parents ask the question – is it worth it. Here is why I think it is:

One. Sports is a microcosm of life. Unlike a biology class, sport creates experiences that we often encounter in life – failure, hardship, sacrifice, interpersonal relationship and struggles, injuries, etc. When we participate in sports, we put our exposure to life lessons on fast forward. If we help our children navigate this properly, this can be invaluable.

Two. Sports can develop character. We may have all heard the famous line from John Wooden, “sport doesn’t build character, it reveals it.” While the revealing part is true, I also believe it builds character. Connected to the life lessons we can glean from the experiences, the opportunity to grow in character is profound. Think about the dedication, the commitments, the effort expended, the sacrifice for a team centered goal, the resilience – the list can go on for a while. The trick is, we have to help our young people understand the growth prospect. We have to lead them and shape them. Some growth will happen automatically, but not to the degree it could (or should) if we direct the process. Pope Pius XII has the great line, “Sport, properly directed, develops character, makes a man courageous, a generous loser and a gracious victor.” Let’s get out there and help direct our young people to grow in character.

Three. It helps them stay healthy physically. Not much is needed to be said here. With child obesity still too high and video games too tempting, our kids need exercise for their health. Simple. 

Four. It builds their emotional intelligence. This point could be folded into the second point above about building character, but I think it deserves to be expanded upon. When children interact with one another through sports, they are forced to shape their interpersonal skills – how to praise another, how to challenge another, and how to receive these things. In a culture where young people are too often communicating via text message or instagram, this aspect of sport is a tremendous gift in the task of raising up adults rather than bigger kids.

In the end, I hope you choose to get your child involved in sports…at least for a time.

What other benefits do you see?


Here is my post on why kids should NOT play

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There are 2 comments so far

  • 9 months ago · Reply

    Hi, Thomas!

    Your entire article is on point!

    Even as a new mom, I knew that I would let my daughter try anything and everything so she can discover where her passion lies. That definitely includes sports.

    I agree that kids these days are not as active as we want them to be and engaging in sports is a fun way to be fit and healthy.

    But more than that, I want my daughter to acquire important life skills through sports. It’s true that playing sports is a good way to learn resilience, patience, hard work, and other values that she will find useful as life gets tougher.

    Thanks for this article!

    • Thomas Author
      9 months ago · Reply

      Thanks Kate. Congrats on being a new mom too!

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