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Keep your Children in Organized Fall Sports by Brittney Davis

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Well, fall is here and summer is now just an awesome memory. If you’re like me you’re wondering where summer went and why it always has to leave so abruptly! Lucky for us the fall season is just as awesome and rewarding as the summer. Children are back in school, which may not make them very happy, nit I’m sure parents everywhere are rejoicing. Another aspect which makes the fall an amazing and rewarding time of year are all the organized sports that not only can be viewed on television, but that children have the opportunity to participate in, and reap the benefits from. There are a multitude of organized sports for your children to get involved in this season; Football, Basketball, Cross Country, Lacrosse, Volleyball and Softball are all great and highly active sports just to name a few. The physical benefits of organized sports are pretty blatant and obvious, as organized sports keep your children active and fit in the fall to winter months when they are more likely to come home from school and be more sedentary. However, there are some not so obvious, but amazingly intangible benefits that organized sports offer that every parent should be aware of.


The first of these benefits is an aspect that is often a primary concern among many adolescents. This concern is the social aspect of sports. For many teens and pre-teens, participating in an organized sport is a great way to find and meet friends. It is not uncommon for school age children to make new friends while participating in an organized sport, in-fact this is a big part of why some kids want to be a part of an organized sport. Making friends is easy this way, the kids and teens who come together for a particular sport already share a common interest, sports! Making it that much easier for them to connect and make friends. The amount of time that is spent with teammates also plays a huge role in building friendships, this time occurs during practice (which may take place up to 6 times a week), playing together in games, traveling to away games, fundraisers, and even banquettes. Not only is making friends inevitable in sports, but it is highly encouraged to build chemistry which will translate onto the court or playing field. Chemistry is essential for any sports team, as this factor plays a very big part in winning games. If your child is transitioning into High School, loves sports and wants to make some new friends suggest that he or she try out for a sport. I can attest to the fact that sports bring lifelong friendships, as I played basketball in high school a little over 10 years ago and I am still friends with most of my teammates!


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Organized sports are also a great way for kids to learn the skill and concept of team work. Team work is a great principle for children to learn at any age as they will need this valuable ability throughout their life. It is guaranteed that as your child moves into adulthood they will need to be team players and know the importance of team work. There will be group projects in college that will call for working with others as a team in order to complete a task to receive a passing grade. There is also a high probability that after your child graduates college and enters into the work force they may have to participate in group projects in the work place. This is also true for entrepreneurs who assemble a team that works together to start and run a successful business. The idea of team work and its basic principles can be seen throughout life and is a very necessary part of it, implementing this skill on the court my result in your child’s team winning the big game, but implementing this skill in life is priceless, and can help your child reach whatever goals they set for themselves.







Self discipline can also be attained through organized sports in regards to things such as priorities concerning schoolwork and homework. Most schools that offer sports as an extracurricular activity require their students to maintain a certain GPA in order to continue participating in sports. What this requirement does is ensures that your child stays focused in class and acquires proper time management skills in order to complete their homework, study for exams and quizzes, all while having enough time to play sports. However, some studies suggest that playing sports maybe the biggest reason why your child is on the honor roll. According to an article by Truesport.org, “Numerous studies have demonstrated the positive effects of playing sports on academic achievement, in large part because of the positive influence of identity formation and emotional development.” True Sports goes on the explain that, “Research has shown that physical movement can affect the brain’s physiology by increasing cerebral capillary growth, blood flow, oxygenation, production of neurotrophins, growth of nerve cells in the hippocampus, neurotransmitter levels, development of nerve connections, density of neural network, and brain tissue volume. These changes may be associated with improved attention; improved information processing, storage, and retrieval.”

Too much down time for adolescents is a recipe for trouble; this is another reason why organized sports are great, as they help in the prevention in keeping kids out of trouble. According to an article from Fair Play for children.org “Organized sport programs can contribute to reducing youth crime by giving young people a positive identity, feelings of empowerment and by helping youth acquire leadership, teamwork and self-governance skills under adult supervision.” They go on to state that, “Several studies have demonstrated that youth sport does prevent youth crime. In Kansas City, Missouri, evening and midnight basketball programs have reduced the crime rate among African American youth gangs.” Studies have also shown that organized sports serve in keeping kids away from drugs, as they have less free time to experiment and or don’t want to run the risk of getting caught doing drugs as this may result in them getting kicked of the team. Moreover, the positive identity and self empowerment that sports provide aids them in making responsible choices, which helps guide them away from dangerous and irresponsible activities.

In conclusion, sports whether they are organized or not, helps build a child’s character and gets them prepared for life’s many ups and downs. Not making the team or not winning the state championship is heart breaking, but at the same time are great lessons to be leaned as it teaches the importance of hard work, perseverance, and that things may not always go as planned. But like with anything in life there is always the opportunity to get back up and try again! It is not about what happens to us, but how we respond to what happens.

A word of caution: Parents! Please try not to push your child too hard when it comes to organized sports, you are there as a support system, not as an additional coach, a little encouragement every now and then is fine as long as your child is still enjoying the sport. We all have a competitive side, but when you start pushing your child too hard or start living vicariously through them, and start having flashbacks of your old “football days” way back in the 70’s, this is where you have to draw the line. Organized sports are supposed to be fun and rewarding, let them be just that!







Find out more about organized sports and their many benefits from the websites that were mentioned in this week’s blog:

http://www.fairplayforchildren.org/pdf/1299566926.pdf

http://truesport.org/resources/publications/reports/psychological-and-social-benefits-of-playing-true-sport/

Schedule a session for your child with one of our CASS Fitness trainers today! And as always, stay active and remember, an active child is a happy child!


Brittney


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Matt Bible
Co-Owner at CASS Fitness
Matt Bible is the Co-Owner and an Executive Personal Trainer with CASS Fitness. He specializes in helping his clients lose weight, gain strength, and help prevent lower back issues. He lives in Gaithersburg, MD. He also enjoys strength training, outdoor activities, traveling, and music.
October 8, 2014 | Children's Fitness, General | 0

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