Youth sports are an American institution, and the participation in such is only growing. Three-quarters of American families with school-age children have at least one child that is active in youth sports, and there are now almost 50 million kids involved in organized youth sports, from basketball and football to athletics and swimming.

Youth sports are combatting one of America’s most troubling trends – the childhood obesity epidemic. One in every three children in the US is overweight and living a sedentary lifestyle. The immediate benefits of youth sports participation include promoting physical health, keeping kids off the streets, and increased social interaction. There are also long-term benefits of youth sports that we will address.

The participation in youth sports should, therefore, be applauded and encouraged. However, parents and coaches should be less emphasis on the importance of winning and participation in stressful competition. To foster long-term benefits we feel that it is important for coaches to teach children to have fun while learning the game and improving their own fundamental skills. You want the sport to be fun so that kids will stick with it long-term

Basketball training and mentoring provided by an organized sports program fosters a safe and friendly environment for players of all skill levels to learn, improve, and have fun.

Long-Term Physical Health Benefits of Youth Sports

The Long Term Benefits of Youth Sports

Perhaps the most obvious benefit of youth sports is an increased love of the sport. Love for the sport promotes more interest in physical activity in their youth and on through their adult life. With one in three Americans born after the year 2000 expected to contract diabetes, the fight is real.

Organized sports improve motor skills. It has been proven that it is important that kids learn to acquire of motor skills at a young age. It significantly improves the chances the young person will go on to participate in the sport in adulthood, increasing their general physical well-being.

The physical health benefits of strenuous physical activity is well documented. There is a reduced risk of heart disease, breast cancer, obesity, and osteoporosis, among other serious ailments. Youth sports see youngsters start as they mean to go on, and time and again studies have shown those who participate in well-organized training led by experienced coaches go on to be more physically fit in later life.

Long-Term Psychological Health Benefits of Youth Team Sports

As suicide is the third leading cause of death in adolescents, it is worth noting that participation in youth sports has been shown to reduce the risk of depression and suicidal tendencies in boys and girls. The strong social support system that is fostered by sports, increased friendships and peer interactions, and resilience built through the participation in sports cannot be understated.

Studies have shown that adolescent participation in extracurricular activities including organized youth sports improves a wide range of skills:

  • Time management
  • Goal setting
  • Social interactions and intelligence
  • Wisdom
  • Emotional resilience and control
  • Leadership
  • Cooperation and teamwork
  • Self-exploration and examination

These are all skills that set up young people for adult life and are important stepping stones to succeeding in any career or life pursuit. It is no wonder that so many participants in youth sports go on to prominent positions in later life.

Teenagers that participate in team sports report higher levels of happiness and self-esteem than those who do not. The CDC reports increased physical activity results in a lower chance of psychological dysfunction in teenagers. Particularly when coaches are trained to enhance sporting experience for everyone and teach the players how to play the sport properly. Players report increased motivation, satisfaction, and self-esteem when coaches foster a team effort.

The CDC has also reported that students who perform a large amount of physical activity also perform better academically, opening more doors for college and university and better prospects in future careers.

The Long Term Benefits of Youth Sports

Fostering Better Habits

Positive side-effects of youth sports participation are numerous. Teenagers who engage in youth sports are less likely to take up smoking; recreational drug use is reduced, rates of teenage pregnancy drop and the number of instances of unprotected sexual intercourse lowers. All of these better habits point to youth team sports being a positive influence on young people’s lives.

In summary, when overseen by a qualified coach, participation in youth sports has a significant number of physical, emotional, psychological, and positive habit-forming benefits. Fostering a lifelong long for a game sets up adolescents to succeed in life and take forward the lessons and skills they’ve learned from into a bright, confident, healthy adulthood.

Does your child/children play youth sports? Do you find youth team sports beneficial?