It’s Spring! And that means buds on the trees, flowers willing their way through the soil, and soccer, crew, swimming/diving teamssoftball, lacrosse, field hockey and organized sports for kids in many families. Some of these sports are a huge commitment, of time and finances, overthrowing our family plans every weekend, and causing kids to miss out on other less structured opportunities to play and learn. So are they worth it? You better believe it! Next time you find yourself feeling like a slave to the team, consider these top 5 reasons to encourage team sports:

It’s good exercise.

Kids and teens today tend towards screens for communication and entertainment, so getting involved in a sport that creates schedule physical fitness is a great way to get the heart moving.

Athletes learn teamwork!

Being on a team helps kids figure out the value of working together and appreciate teamwork in a way they cannot as easily do in a classroom. Learning teamwork under the direction of an excellent coach is even better.

Organized Sports foster dedication.

All of those practices might feel a scheduling nightmare for busy families, but practice leads to mastery. The dedication of daily or even weekly practices gives young athletes a chance to work on the same skills again and again until can perform without thought. Seeing their effort and work pay off builds a tenacious spirit that can be an asset in many ways.

Friendships thrive.

Kids who work together, practice together, and learn to support each other end up perfect candidates for lifelong friendships. Team time can be very social not just for the players, but for the parents as well. Organiced sports for kids likely requires parental volunteer time too. Bonding over a goal, a best time, or the post game snack works for kids and adults alike. Life skills are learned.

It’s fun!

Sports bring joy. This is true for young kids, old kids, professional athletes, and older adults that play for the fun of it. Practices and game days are scheduled fun that a kid can look forward to all week.

Finding the right organized sports for kids is not always easy. But once we do parents are really laying the ground for fun, wellness, and future life-skills. Way to go, team Parents!

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Angie Smith

Angela Smith is a local advocate who currently works as an academic specialist for students with traumatic brain injuries. She has a Master’s degree in education, and experience teaching in classrooms from kindergarten to college level. She is a writer, science aficionado, learner, & educator who keeps bees, and also keeps up with a busy family in Ann Arbor. Her goal is to explore countless possibilities to live life to the fullest. Some of those possibilities include cooking, traveling around Michigan and beyond, eating tacos, reading books with the best book club in town, practicing yoga on a paddle board, and generally kicking butt whenever necessary.

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