The new generation is growing up in a digital age where connecting with people all over the world is easy and takes seconds. The virtual connection can provide support in times of uncertainty. However, it can also make loneliness worse, experts say. The pandemic, which has completely derailed people’s “normal” lives, has also had a profound impact on some children, causing them to feel isolated and more anxious. Children need physical activity and stimulation to develop and live a happy, healthy life. Returning to sports will not only play a vital role in preventing long-term issues among our children and their friends, but it’s just plain fun. We think everyone needs a little bit of that right now.
How Do Youth Sports Contribute to Social and Physical Well-Being?
When children take part in sports and physical activity, a door of new opportunities automatically opens. It provides them with the chance to build social connections in real life as they meet new people outside of their normal social circles. As kids gain a sense of belonging and community, they are also building valuable social skills, self-esteem, and pro-social behaviors. Researchers have also found that many children use sports as a vehicle to avoid loneliness.
In addition to combating loneliness and boosting self-esteem, sports also have many other benefits to our children’s overall well-being.
Playing Sports Helps Improve Sleep
As a result of schools being shut down and home education taking over, many children tend to fall out of their normal routines and sleeping patterns. However, with regular exercise, children can drastically improve their sleep patterns and quality of rest. This has an overall positive effect on their mood and energy for the day ahead.
Playing Sports Helps Reduce Stress and Lowers Anxiety
With the increased levels of anxiety and stress among our children, it’s important to find remedies to boost their well-being. With sports and physical activity, children can distract their brain, allowing it to rest and shift away from any negative thoughts. In addition, it can reduce stress hormone levels in their bodies, making it easier to relax.
Playing Sports Can Help With Mental Sharpness
While fighting to stay in a routine and learn from home, some children fall behind when it comes to cognitive development. Sports can help sharpen their reasoning skills. By prompting them to practice critical thinking and decision making, these kids are able to improve their concentration.
As the nation begins to look forward, we are excited to be returning to play safely, because we know how important this is for kids’ mental and physical health. At i9 Sports®, we believe that sports participation is about more than just the rules of the game, who plays what position, and the final score. Our aim is always to provide a fun experience in which kids have a chance to develop athletic skills and learn good sportsmanship while also increasing their self-confidence. When children have a positive sports experience, they are more than likely to feel motivated to continue playing. However, getting back to the fun will not come at the expense of safety. You can learn more about our “Return to Play Safely” protocol here.
To find a program near you, type in your zip code above under the “programs” tab!