It’s no big secret that participation in youth sports can be a great way to keep kids active and engaged in a positive environment. What’s not as well-known is how far these benefits can extend for the children involved, their families, and the community as a whole. Learn more about the benefits of youth sport participation and how you can get your kid set up for success.
#1 Overall Health & Well-being
Yes, youth sports are obviously beneficial for the physical well-being of kids’ growing bodies, but involvement in youth athletics goes far beyond the physical impact! Participation in athletics can also help children develop healthy social skills and improve their confidence, which positively impacts their overall mental well-being. Studies show that participation in youth sports is also associated with “lower amounts of stress, increased cognitive performance, and higher self-esteem.”
And if that doesn’t speak to you, let’s talk about brass tacks—sports help kids maintain a healthy lifestyle and build lifelong healthy habits, with one study showing that physical activity is one of the least expensive ways to stay healthy.
#2 Improved Academic Performance
Studies have shown that involvement in youth sports can help children improve their cognitive abilities, and that, in comparison with their peers, youth athletes had “higher levels of academic achievement.” Indeed, sports enable youth to practice problem solving, goal setting and facing challenges, which can positively impact their educational development.
And the benefits extend beyond the classroom. Youth sports help children build the skills they need to succeed in their careers. Research shows that students who participate in sports are more likely to be hired when beginning their careers, and become leaders, too.
#3 Increased Community Engagement
Team sports are a fantastic way for kids to make new friends! Being engaged in a team or league can increase the community bonds not only among children and their parents, but organizers, coaches and others involved. This is also a great way for children to identify adult role models in their community and to learn the value of teamwork.
PLAY Roanoke Youth Athletics
All kids deserve a fun, safe place to play where they feel like they belong. Yet the average child drops out of youth sports by age 11, often because the sport doesn’t feel fun anymore—or because the options are simply too expensive for their family. As a result, these kids miss out on the lifelong benefits of sports.
Research shows that when children play sports, they increase their chances to grow up healthy, feel good about themselves, build friendships, develop skills like teamwork, kindness and respect, and are more likely to succeed in school and in their future careers. When parents enroll children in park and recreation-sponsored youth sports, we’re setting up our children for success. At Roanoke Parks and Recreation, we want ALL children—no matter their ability, age, gender identity, race, ethnicity, family income or interests—to feel welcome in our programs. That’s why we offer affordable, FUN options for sports and play that help our community’s children thrive. We offer a variety of youth sports leagues throughout the year. Click the button below to see what youth sports leagues we offer (BONUS: we now offer E-Sports) and find out how to get your kiddo set up success.
To keep yourself up to date with all PLAY Roanoke news, events, and programs, click here to sign up for our monthly e-newsletter.