The Persistent Value of Sports to Youth AthletesIan Nichols @ 2020-04-20 16:04:41 -0400
Sports are a huge part of society and for good reason. They’re entertaining to watch and even more fun to play, but they serve a real purpose in people’s lives everywhere. This has only been emphasized over the last few weeks as sports have been put on hold for the time being.
When it comes to younger generations, sports are especially important as they help to build and develop youth athletes into well-rounded people and should consistently be encouraged as a multi-purpose form of exercise. Not only do these youth athletes obtain valuable exercise to keep them healthy and in shape, they learn invaluable lessons, gain notable skills and characteristics, and foster friendships that last a lifetime. It’s a multi-faceted environment that shouldn’t be looked on simply as a game.
NFL superstar Tom Brady offers a similar sentiment when discussing the value he sees in contact sports:
“I think there’s something about contact sports that teaches you a lot about discipline, respect, mutual respect for your opponent, that you don’t get in non-contact sports … If your body is taking a physical toll and punishment, you’ve got to respect your body because that’s your insulation, that’s your asset. … Because you can’t perform unless you take great care of your body.”
The defining quality of sport is the overarching value it provides to athletes, which is difficult to recreate in other activities. These are the top 5 rewards youth athletes gain from an involvement in sports:
- Friendship & Teamwork – While youth athletes are out on the field, in the locker room, or traveling to road games, they’re building relationships that could last a lifetime. They forge a bond that comes from working together to face challenges, bounce back from disappointment and conquer goals.
- Exercise – This can often be forgotten when it comes to sports, but at the root of the games and practices is physical activity that is positive for both the physical and mental health of athletes.
- Commitment & Discipline – Buying into a team concept and working each day for both individual and team success helps build character. There are highs and lows over the course of a long season, but a never quit attitude is a strong characteristic to polish and lean on in the future.
- Respect – You begin to regard aspects of life in a different way after giving it your all in high-spirited action. A long, hard fought season or playoff series can lead to admiration for both the commitment and perseverance of your teammates, coaches, parents, and even your opponents. Athletes can also begin to value the importance of safety in all aspects of life from combatting a long season or rough match. Performance is important, but safety should always be stressed during competition.
- Life Lessons & Learning Experiences – There’s something to be said about the revelation that comes from a disappointing loss, or an unexpected win. Sports will show athletes that nothing in life is a foregone conclusion, or that constant work-ethic, dedication, and teamwork can help achieve results greater than the sum of a team’s parts.
At Q30, sports and safety are at the core of everything we do. We value working as a team and recognize how important sports have been in helping shape our own lives. We’ll continue to work to make sports safer for all those involved so that everyone has the ability to participate in these wonderful growth opportunities.
Play Smart. Play Safe.
Quote originally from profootballtalk.nbcsports.com.