Benefits of Youth Sports“Sports do not build character. They reveal it,” said John Wooden, legendary UCLA basketball coach. Playing sports not only provides physical activity, but also other positive benefits. This is especially true for children. A well-structured and organized youth program will provide benefits and positive experiences for young athletes. While children are having fun participating in sports they are also building character, learning to work as a team, and playing fairly. Most people think the only benefits of sports are physical. Sports are more than just developing hand-eye coordination and burning calories, youth sports provide many developmental benefits, physical benefits, and psychological benefits.
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Although sports are helpful inside the classroom they are also helpful outside the classroom and at home. Sports allow children to engage in positive relationships with adults, which is especially important when such benefits are not available at home. Children learn to respect and obey authority, as well as how to deal with criticism. Children who play sports participate in basic physical fitness in a way that is fun and they establish lifelong habits for good health. Promoting good health is important at a time where obesity is continually growing at a staggering rate. Obesity has more than doubled in the past 30 years (Jones 5). More children should get involved in sports because not only will it help them at a young age it will also carry on with them later in life. Children will already be exposed to physical activity and will most likely want to continue on with it. According to the 2009 National Survey of Children’s Health, non-athletes are 60% more likely to become overweight than athletes (Jones 5).
Youth sports can help prevent a variety of diseases and conditions and help children onto a path to a more healthy adulthood. Weight-bearing activities, such as running, help improve bone density, which is an important factor especially in young females. The Women’s Sports Foundation recommends that teen girls participate in