With our tournament season in full swing, we thought it would be a good time to go over exactly why we love offering these after-school sports opportunities. Is it active? Yes! Is it fun? Absolutely! But there are so many more benefits to getting the students in our community involved in these programs.
We’ve gathered our own top eight benefits to share with you below!
1 Offers Opportunities to Explore Interests and Discover Passions
The school band, drama club, and any sport may be an activity students are interested in joining. Many sports offered through schools are competitive to join, but there is never a cut or try-out for any of our tournaments no matter the age. By allowing students the opportunity to explore sports as a part of diverse interests, they are given the opportunity to discover what they are passionate about. Youth who find a passion early on have a greater incentive to stay focused, stay out of trouble, and pursue what they are passionate about by their own motivation.
2 Builds Self-Esteem and Boosts Confidence
Mastering new skills through practice and games, can help build confidence in youth. By participating in extra-curricular sports, they can build their self-esteem in a relaxed and supportive setting as each activity provides the opportunity to learn and be successful. The more they grows in skills and success, the more confident they become. This confidence can then transfer into other areas of their lives, such as giving them the confidence to thrive in their studies.
3 Encourages Sportsmanship and Teamwork
Sports teams of all kinds require youth to work together toward a common goal. By participating in these activities, they develop the skills they need in order to successfully work with others. In addition, extracurricular activities encourage youth to build relationships and socialize with peers who share their interests. Working as a group teaches them how to share the responsibility and credit for the group’s performance.
4 Promotes Healthy Competition
Sports programs teach students how to deal with issues like competition, which they will encounter throughout their academic, personal and professional lives. They will learn how to compete and succeed by giving their best effort during friendly competition. The competitive nature of sports also places youth in healthy challenging situations that require ingenuity and perseverance.
5 Helps Meet Fitness Recommendation and Reduce Stress
Because this generation spends more time indoors than any previous generation, the nation is currently experiencing its worst childhood obesity epidemic. It is recommended that youth get in exercise for at least 60 minutes every day. Hard to do in today’s tech-focused world. Extensive research confirms that participation in sports reduces the risk for obesity and related health issues.* Also, exercise releases natural substances like dopamine and serotonin that improves one’s sense of well-being. Playing sports with friends is a fun way to alleviate stress associated with life and academic pressures.
6 Improves Overall Mental and Physical Health
Studies have proven time and again that sports are beneficial for youth on so many levels. Active sports participation leads to improved academic performance, self-esteem and social competence. It bolsters youth’s ability to solve problems, make decisions, and maintain a normal weight. It also enhances physical coordination and strengthened muscles and bones.** Students enrolled in sports programs have a lower risk for dropping out of school, teen pregnancies and juvenile arrests.
7 Lets Youth Make a Contribution
An often overlooked benefit, but one of our favorites is that participation in community driven extra-curricular activities like our tournaments, allow students to make a contribution to their school or community. They feel like an important and positive part of the world, which will motivate them to continue in this important step as they prepare for life outside of academics.
8 Cultivates Lifelong Relationships
Many lifelong friendships begin during youth sports. These activities can be fantastic places for youth to develop friendships with peers who share the same interests or passions, not just those they see every day in the classroom. Because these programs give youth more time to interact freely, they then have the opportunity to practice and experiment with socialization skills. And of course, relationships that are built and nurtured are not just peer-to-peer, but adults as well. In a time when youth need good adult role-models in their lives, our games and tournaments provide opportunities to build connections with coaches, cops, and community members.