Sports have received an abundance of attention when it comes to the benefits of physical health, but what benefits do sports have on mental health? There have been an increasing number of studies that show that team sports also have a great number of benefits to mental health as well! For starters, being on a sports team promotes and enhances team work skills, social skills, and prosocial behaviors. The current children are living in a generation where it has become quite common for kids to spend much of their free time playing video games alone. This can stunt social skills. Balancing our their game time with sports can be quite beneficial. In addition, to improved social skills, kids often make long lasting friendships from their sports teams. Not to mention that many kids on sports teams look up to their coaches as positive mentors and role models in their lives. Team sports can help to create discipline and dedication in children and some studies show sports can improve motivation and school performance, especially when coaches do not allow children with failing grades to play during the games. Kids who play sports have fewer emotional and behavioral problems and are less likely to do drugs and/or have poor body image. Winning can help promote self-confidence and self-esteem and losing can help teach children resiliency and the difficult truth that life is not always going to be full of wins. A few recent studies have even shown correlations between decreased symptoms of depression and PTSD in children who started playing sports after being diagnosed. Regular exercise during childhood also helps to develop better attention, processing, and creativity. With all of the benefits of team sports on both physical and mental health, you may want to consider enrolling your child into a team sport today!
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