As one season ends, another begins. For your family it could be baseball, cheerleading, or volleyball; and for our founders, it is basketball, soccer, and football. The challenges are endless and the same across youth sports. There is a time commitment, a drive commitment, a financial commitment, managing travel, tryouts, injuries, wins and losses, unfair shakes, emotional highs, and emotional lows, but it is all worth it because sweat and sacrifice equals success.
In a 2017 survey by the Siena College Research Institute, 82 percent of parents in Southeast Michigan said it’s very important or somewhat important for their child to be regularly involved in sports. In another survey of parents, the Robert Wood Johnson Foundation/Harvard/NPR survey, showed the positive traits parents believe playing sports has had for their children:
It might be hard to understand for parents whose kids are not involved in youth sports, but here is our Top 5 on why we do it.
It is fun to watch your kids play the sports they love, and it is important for parents to let their kids know how much they love watching them play – that it isn’t about the win – you just love to watch them.
Sports teaches life lessons.
And these life lessons are best taught through experiences, so it isn’t just mom and dad talking to the wall.
S = Self confidence
P = Perseverance
O = Overcoming adversity
R = Respect
T = Teamwork
S = Sacrifice
Additionally, with your sacrifice comes gratitude.
The family that plays together, stays together.
Not only does the team become a second family to your child, but sports gives nuclear families time together. You win together. You lose together. You eat together. You travel together, spend long hours in the car together. You get the idea.
Greater personal confidence and self-esteem.
You can tell your child that they are kind, smart, athletic, and the best thing since sliced bread until you are blue in the face, but it doesn’t equate to youth sports experiences helping reinforce those compliments and building the fire inside your child that breeds self-confidence.
Sports gets your kids moving!
No matter the sport, sports get your kids moving and decreases their screen time. Even better, it puts the burden on someone else. It might be selfish to admit, but parents don’t always want to be the bad guy. According to the Aspen Institute, improving physical health was the No. 1 benefit parents give for engaging their children in organized sports.
As you can see, it is not always about reaching the “next level”, earning college scholarships, and putting unnecessary stress on your child. For some kids, it may be, and if it is, then we parents are there for the emotional highs and lows, wins and losses, tryouts, and injuries because sweat and sacrifice equals success, no matter how you define it.