As we begin to mature in age and our list of responsibilities grows, we often get lost in the daily minutia that plagues our lifestyle. Bills are coming due, we need to pick the kids up from school, laundry still needs to be done, and our groceries are running low. As all of these tasks fill up our mental faculties, we often lose sight of the bigger picture within our society and how our actions, or lack thereof, influence the upcoming years. When we peer into the eyes of a small child, we’re gazing into the future economy, educational force and how our world will be run as a whole. When we begin to slow down and focus on early childhood development, we start to notice that we can positively influence future generations as a collective.
Dedication, Risk, and Reward
Let’s be honest with each other for a moment — life is hard. Not only that, but there are various instances within our lives that mold and shape who we become as a person and how we treat others. These lessons, rather they’re good or bad, change our preconceived notions of society and how we need to interact with one another. The framework of a healthy, well-adjusted individual is learning the value of hard work, dedication, embracing setbacks and earning precious rewards.
The way that we can develop conscientious within the youth is by placing them in sports at an early age. Although our child may not exude athletic qualities, sports allow them to understand the value of working on a team to achieve an end goal. Things like good sportsmanship, dedication, learning from failure and mistakes instill in the child that life can be rough, but extremely rewarding. When a child gives their best effort in a team collective so that they may earn trophies at the end of the season, they gain lifelong characteristics that will translate into every part of their world. This will, ultimately, lead to a healthy economy, improved personal relationships, camaraderie and a sense of devotion towards their career.
Youth sports also demonstrates how to to be an effective communicator with the people around you. When children are forming tactics and solutions on the court, they garner specific character traits that allow them to become better thought leaders moving into the future. This can translate to improved competency within the workplace, healthier relationships, and the ability to communicate with strangers in a more eloquent fashion.
It also demonstrates the tough side of life when things don’t go our way. From an early age, we’re often told that we can achieve anything that we set our minds to, given we work hard enough. Although this is true in a general sense, many of us were not prepared for the trials and tribulations associated with attaining a specific end goal. For a child that wants to become a football superstar, they may fail to realize that they will have to devote more time and effort to attain a starting position on their team. By advocating for youth sports programs, we allow children to work towards a worthy ideal that can assist them later on in their adult lives.
Tackling Mental Struggles
When faced with mental challenges, we often forget that small children suffer from the same problems that we do. Feelings of anxiety, depression, melancholy, and frustration are sensations that can be experienced regardless of age. In fact, an article released by the American Psychological Association talked about how Michael Phelps — the superstar swimmer that earned twenty-three gold medals in the Olympics — expressed how valuable sports psychology was for him at an early age. He suffered from self-esteem issues, anxiety, and fear that he would never be good enough to compete at the next level. With the training from his coaches and sports psychologist, he was able to stand bold in the face of uncertainty and despair.
By repetitiously perfecting one’s craft through the means of athletic output, we show young children that hard work and consistent effort is the key to not only succeed in sports but life as a whole. These valuable fundamentals positively impact these children so they can go on to lead happy, healthy, and successful lives as they grow.