Social Effects of Sports on Young Children
Although team sports can provide fun-filled memories that can last your child a lifetime, they are also a teaching tool for the development of important social skills. Sports can teach him to be competitive, yet fair and honest. Learning to combine competitiveness with integrity will help your child cultivate meaningful relationships as he progresses through school, as well as throughout his adult life.
Teamwork Skills Development
By playing sports, your child learns that she does not work alone, but she's part of a group that must cooperate to achieve a common goal. As the American Academy of Pediatrics says, sports teach children such skills as following established rules for the sake of everyone. Indeed, these skills will help your child get along with people as she grows older, whether in her personal relationships or those she builds in the workplace.
Another effect of sports in the development of young children is the building of character. One aspect of character development is being able to honor a long-term commitment, whether it's to a team, to the choir at church or to schoolwork. This is a positive trait that will help him later in life as he enters the job market or cultivates a long-term relationship. By playing sports, he learns that he's part of a team that's counting on him to stand by them, through the good and bad times.
Yet another social skill that sports teach is that of being able to play fair. A game such as kickball, softball or baseball, for instance, will teach your child the value of waiting her turn. In softball, for instance, she will learn that she must wait for the coach to tell her it's her turn to bat. Before that point, she must wait and watch her teammates as they are at bat.
Coping With Wins and Losses
Another trait that will benefit your child as he matures, according to the Sports and Development website, is how to graciously accept a victory or defeat. Competitive sports will expose him to both. It will give him the opportunity to observe how not to be following a win. He will witness the ostracism faced by other children who brag to members of the losing team that they won. He will also learn that there are times when the opposing team will be better and will beat his squad.