Confession: Growing up I found team sports far too stressful for me to part take in. My anxious little self could only carry the burden of disappointing myself and possibly my parents and therefore I steered clear of soccer, basketball, volleyball and anything else that might make me mildly uncomfortable or stressed. What if I failed? What if I didn’t make the team? Got benched? Botched the winning play? I’m breathing into a paper bag right now just thinking about the plethora of negative outcomes my young mind conjured up. To involve nine or ten other girls and their hypothetical judgement of me was just too overwhelming for my not-so-naturally-athletic-self. I dabbled in softball until it came time to try out for varsity. Faced with the possibility of not making the cut, I opted for quitting. I attempted swim team as a diver. I was pretty bad. I quit that too. I didn’t want to tell my mom that I had abandoned the swimming ship, so my best friend and I would wet our hair and sit in the high school hallway for hours until pick up time. She eventually discovered my rouse, because moms are no fools. Needless to say I was a fear driven kid, only really attempting things I was confident I would succeed at.
Fast forward several decades and here I am raising a few die hard athletics who are loving themselves some team sports. I’m so proud of them. They are fearless, social, encouraging, talented and athletic; qualities that they most definitely inherited from their very sporty father. I watch them each week practice and play soccer with their team of like-minded girlies and I feel so grateful that they are reaping the benefits of playing team sports. They are able to do what I never could and put themselves out there in the world of sports. The win, lose, laugh and cry. They take risks on the field and sometimes they don’t pan out, but guess what? The girls rise above, learn and try again. Along with those risks and failures comes the success and pride of sticking with something and eventually seeing growth and progress. Here are six reasons you may want to consider letting your little sportie try out for basketball or soccer next year.
Team Sports Improve Communication Skills
Effective communication skills are something that your child will need and use throughout his or her entire life. Playing team sports is a fantastic way of introducing and practicing communication skills, both spoken and unspoken. Team players need to constantly be appropriately communicating with the coaches as well as team members. They ask questions, synthesize information and work together to set up and execute plays. When kids practice these skills across environments such as at school, on the court and at home, the skills become route and in turn are no longer something that the child has to consciously think about doing.
Helps Build Confidence
It’s not always easy putting yourself out there in the sports world. I was one of those kids who was more than happy to be a wallflower when it came to recreational activities. Playing on and competing with a team though can really give your kiddo the confidence they need to go on and be successful in their futures. Sticking with team sports can build your kid’s confidence by allowing them not to fear failure. Sometime you win, sometimes you lose. That’s life, get over it. Team sports teach kids to focus on doing their best; not being the best but being their best. Believe me there is a difference. Lastly kids learn that practice does not make perfect, but it does make a difference. Practicing the sport’s skills can help your child feel more confident in what they are learning and applying to their sport.
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