Do you love watching your kid kick the soccer ball down the field or dive off the block at the beginning of their swim race?
If you’re a proud parent of a child in an organized sport, you’re not alone. About 3 out of 4 American families with school-aged children have at least one child who plays an organized sport.
Chances are, you’re happy to enroll your child in organized sports because of the obvious benefits for your kid: staying active and healthy, making new friends and having fun.
But there are even more benefits to your child playing an organized sport than you may have thought.
Whether they choose a solo sport like singles tennis or track or a team sport like hockey or volleyball, organized sports can help your child develop important skills that can translate off the field, rink, pool, court or track.
Organized sports give your child the opportunity to learn trust, determination, sportsmanship and self-discipline, which can help them find success in school, work, and their social life as they grow older.
And organized sports can even help them stay away from drugs and alcohol once they reach their teens.
Here’s how organized sports can help your child build important social, physical and mental skills both on and off the field.
Studies have shown that children who participate in organized sports tend to be better at following instructions and remaining focused in the classroom than their peers.
This behavioral advantage may be due to environmental factors within sports, like a sense of belonging to a team with a common goal. This may help kids understand the importance of respecting the rules and being self-disciplined with their own responsibilities.
Just like there are new rules to learn in algebra or geometry, sports can give your child practice in staying focused to figure out problems and ace their next test (or lacrosse match).
Life-long healthy habits
Sure, you know that soccer keeps your child active and in shape. But an organized sport can help your child develop a healthy lifestyle that carries through the rest of their life, even when they’re no longer playing sports.
Children who play sports at a young age can develop healthy habits that help them ward off age- and weight-related illnesses later in life.
Not only that, but teens who play sports are less likely to succumb to social pressures like drugs, alcohol or smoking.
Social skills and respect
Organized sports are a great way for your child to make new friends. But the social skills learned in team sports can go beyond simply getting along.
Team sports can teach your child to trust and rely on others to achieve a common goal. Your child can also learn to look past differences and to respect the individual strengths of others.
These skills can easily translate to other areas of your kids’ life, like being a team player in class projects or in their first job.
Although winning can feel great, a huge lesson organized sports can teach your child is staying positive after a loss.
When your child takes part in a competitive activity — whether it be a sports team, the debate team or a spelling bee — they can learn how to handle disappointments and accept responsibility for mistakes.
It can take a while for children (and adults) to learn not to blame others when things go wrong. But organized sports can help your child see setbacks and opportunities for growth, and to value trying rather than winning.
Improved mental health
Organized sports can do big things for your child’s confidence.
Mastering skills like dribbling a basketball or soccer ball or beating a personal best in track can help your child’s sense of self-worth skyrocket.
Plus, exercise is proven to help reduce stress, anxiety and depression in athletes of all ages. Sports give your child more opportunities to experience positive endorphins and less stress, which is something they can use whether they’re 6, 16 or 60 years old!
Organized sports benefit
Sports allow your child to test the limits of their strength and abilities. But with the rush of sports comes the risk for injury.
That’s why Guardian Direct® provides Accident Insurance holders with the Organized Sports Benefit for their dependent children (18 years old and younger and the child must be insured by the plan on the date the accident occurred).
With Accident Insurance when your child is injured while playing an organized sport, your cash benefit payment increases by 20%.
The Organized Sports Benefit is just another way an accident insurance plan can provide a welcome financial safety net when your family needs it most.