Your child’s participation in organized sports has many great health benefits for their physical development, but have you ever thought about the potential positive effects sports might have on their mental health?
Sporting events, practices, and try outs certainly have their highs and lows! These present children with the opportunity to work on processing and regulating negative emotions, and offering compassion to others.
Engaging in sports can aid in the development of a strong personal identity as children learn to become responsible and work towards a goal. Good performance can contribute to more self-confidence and a strong sense of self-esteem. However, it is essential to recognize that a child’s sense of self should not solely revolve around their performance. It is crucial to foster a positive self-esteem that encompasses various aspects of their being, not limited to their athletic performance.
As a parent or caregiver, you have the opportunity to validate and support all facets of your child’s identity. Emphasize to your young athlete that their value as an individual does not solely derive from their achievements in sports. It is important for children to understand that having a poor game or performance does not diminish their worth or make them a lesser person.
Lastly, sports will help children learn self-motivation as they work towards collective and individual goals. Showing up to practices, waking up early, and dedicating their free time to their sport can all help align children with an intrinsic motivation.
Make sure to check in with your child on how they are feeling regarding their sports participation. While there can be challenges when it comes to winning and losing, or performing well or less than desired, sports present many growth opportunities for children. By providing appropriate guidance and supervision, involvement in sports has the potential to profoundly contribute to long-term physical and psychological wellness.
For questions or any other concerns, Augusta Pediatrics can be reached at (706) 868-0389. The information on this site is not intended or implied to be a substitute for professional medical advice, diagnosis or treatment. All content, including text, graphics, images and information, contained on or available through this web site is for general information purposes only.