The obesity epidemic is rampant. More than half of the population is overweight, one in three is considered obese and it is projected to get worse. The next generation of children is not expected to outlive their parents. It is time for a change and that change needs to start now.
Participating in sports can have a healthy developmental impact on young children by:
- Giving them something to do and a group to belong to that shares the same goals and interests.
- Promoting cooperative play, teamwork, and good sportsmanship by focusing on the team as a whole as opposed to the egocentric view children often have.
- Developing coordination by practicing both gross and fine motor skills, strategic thinking when coordinating plays and math skills to calculate scores and stats.
- Building self-esteem through the practice, patience and persistence of mastering a skill and making significant achievements.
- Developing discipline and leadership skills by setting goals and working hard to achieve them.
- Helping children develop communication skills that will enable them to get along with others including peers, family members, teachers and coaches.
- Instill a lifelong love of physical activity by establishing a correlation between sports and activity with fun.
Outcomes of Active Kids:
Physical activity is one of the most impactful and inexpensive ways to improve health, reduce obesity rates, and relieve stress and depression.
Make the experience positive to retain your athlete:
- Pick a sport or activity that will appeal to the child. Team sports can be a good fit for outgoing, more aggressive personalities whereas other children may prefer individual endeavors and working hard to beat a personal best. If it isn’t enjoyable, try something else.
- Set realistic goals and a plan for how those goals will be achieved.
- Choose leagues, coaches and teams that align with the outcomes you desire. For example: non-competitive and recreational leagues will focus more time on skill building and having fun, whereas traveling and competitive teams will tend to focus more on winning games.
- Separate the parent’s dreams and expectations from the child’s dreams and expectations.