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Boosting Confidence and Self-Esteem Through Youth Sports Programs

What Are Some Of The Social And Emotional Benefits Of Sports For Children?


Self Esteem


Sports are a great way to build self esteem for a variety of reasons. One way is that athletes typically receive a lot of praise while participating in sports. They receive positive reinforcement when they perform well from coaches, teammates, parents, and spectators. Additionally, kids are able to see the effects of their hard work as athletes. As your child practices and trains, they will begin to see the results in the form of improved performance. The external positive reinforcement in the form of praise and the internal reinforcement of seeing the effects of their efforts are great ways to build a child’s self esteem and confidence.


Communication Skills


Team sports are a great way to build your child’s communication skills. When participating in a team sport players need to communicate clearly, quickly, and confidently with each other and their coaches. Your child will develop communication skills in school, but sports give your child the opportunity to develop these skills in a different way and in a real world setting.


Critical Thinking


Sports are an excellent way for your child to develop critical thinking skills. Even in perfect conditions sports require your child to be quick on their feet and problem solve in real time. There are often conditions that will affect the game at hand and require your child to use their critical thinking skills to make decisions. This can include the behavior of their opponents, the weather, the environment they’re playing in, their physical health and mindset, and the physical health and mindset of their teammates and coaches. Circumstances quickly changing will require your child to adapt and they will have more opportunities to develop their critical and quick thinking skills.


How Can We Build Confidence in Kids Through Sports?


Help Them Find A Sport They Enjoy


An important first step in building confidence through sports is making sure you are signing your child up for a sport they enjoy! Even if your child is great at a particular sport, if they don’t enjoy it, it will likely feel more like a chore than something that inspires confidence and self-esteem! So start off with something they show an interest in.


Help Them Cope With Failure


Signing your child up for an activity where they will absolutely experience failure may sound counterintuitive for building confidence, but it’s actually very helpful! It’s impossible not to experience failure as an athlete. Not even the greatest athletes of all time win every game. So getting your child involved in sports from a young age is a great way to introduce them to the concept of failure in an environment where it’s expected and accepted. Learning how to fail and get back up is a critical lesson for children to learn. Learning that failure is nothing to be ashamed of is a component to building confidence and not being disheartened by setbacks. As parents it’s important to foster this mindset on and off the field.


Increase Positive Energy


Building confidence through positive energy goes into and comes from participating in sports! Exercise and performing well can make you happier. This happiness and positivity will spread into other areas of their life. This can lead to improved performance in school and improved relationships with family and peers. This overall improvement and positivity is a great way to build confidence. In the same way that participating in sports can increase your positivity and confidence, going into practices or games with a positive attitude is a great way to build confidence. If your child constantly goes into practice feeling upset, unhappy, or angry, that negativity will affect their physical and mental performance. When they go into practice and games feeling good about themselves and with a positive mindset their performance will likely be better or they will at least feel better about themselves and the work they’ve done which is a good confidence builder!

Where Do I Start To Get My Child Involved In Sports?


Depending on how old your child is there are a few ways to start getting them involved in sports. If their school has sports teams that’s one option! Although, they may have to try out for the team depending on their age. Looking in your community is another great place to find a sports team. Community organizations often host different leagues throughout the year.


The Police Activities League of Egg Harbor Township and Atlantic County has a variety of sports leagues and open sessions all year long! We have year round sports activities including leagues, open sessions, as well as, family activity days that can be a great transition into getting comfortable at our facility! If you’re interested in learning more about the leagues we offer, get in touch with us!

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