A few weeks ago, I came across a post on Facebook by a parent who was always asked why he paid so much money for his kids to play sports. While I personally haven’t been asked that exact question, I have been faced with incredulous stares and the “she’s in HOW many sports?” when it comes to my daughter and her extra curricular activities. Let me clarify- I am NOT that mom who’s schedule is dominated by my child, driving everywhere every day of the week, and whose trunk is packed with sports equipment. But I am the mom who sees sports as an opportunity to teach kids much more than a game!
1. She’s Young- It’s Cheap To Try Sports Now
I’m always shocked when I look up the cost of a sport for my 5-year-old. It’s so cheap! Less than $100 for a T-Ball season? Amazing! Only $60 for 9 weeks of golf lessons? Why not!? The fact is, it’s a small price to pay so my daughter can try something new before club sports and high school teams start. It doesn’t cost that much to give her an opportunity to try something new and see if she likes it. We are still at an age where we can walk away from a sport after the season is over and not worry about a garage full of expensive equipment that will never be used again.
2. She’s Learning How To Lose
There’s nothing worse than a sore loser and sports are a great way to teach your kids that you can’t always win and that winning isn’t everything. You won’t always make that shot at the buzzer or be the hero who scores the winning home run. That’s okay. It’s good to not be the best at everything, to see others that are better than you and to set goals for how you can do better. Even at a young age, children can learn these things and weave them into the fabric of their attitude towards sports and winning. Why wouldn’t you start now?
3. She’s Becoming A Good Teammate
Nothing warms a mother’s heart more than seeing her child congratulate another player on a good hit, or lend an “it’s ok” after a strike out. Most sports are team-oriented, and that’s one of my favorite aspects about playing sports. She’s learning to wait her turn, give others a chance and that you win and lose as a team- not an individual. There are many things I can teach her as a mom that she will learn just by words, but working as a team isn’t one of them. Thank goodness for sports!
4. She’s Understanding There Are People In Authority
Kids can be very egocentric and tend to believe the world revolves around them. Sports is a great way to teach them that they don’t always make the rules. They have to listen to coaches, umpires, referees and team moms and dads- people that aren’t their own mom and dad. They learn to respectfully talk to adults and that there are rules to how you play a game.
5. She Has Something That’s Hers
I love watching the pride on my daughter’s face when she says she has to get ready for T-Ball practice, or when she can celebrate that she learned how to side breathe in swimming lessons. It’s important for her to have her own accomplishments and to have something that is innately hers. I can’t get score a goal for her, or take a team photo in her place. Being on a team and playing sports is shaping her into a young woman with confidence and pride.