10 Reasons Girls Should Play Sports!
While there are many reasons that girls should play sports, here are 10 that stand out. If, like me, you have a daughter who doesn’t seem interested in traditional team sports, look for opportunities for her to participate in fitness and a team environment in other areas, including dance, martial arts, yoga, etc. Encourage her to form a “walking club” with friends at school or to train with a couple of friends for a local 5k. And be sure to let her try lots of different activities, it might take a while to find the one she will enjoy the most and stick with. Here are 10 ways that girls benefit from playing sports:
1. Girls who play sports do better in school. Exercise improves learning, memory, and concentration, which can give active girls an advantage in the classroom. Sports improve math skills, really, you would be surprised how many equations kids learn playing team sports.
2. Girls who play sports learn teamwork. Sports teaches valuable life skills. Negotiation, managing confrontation and working towards a common goal are all subjects that pop up on the playing field or in the locker room.
3.Sports help girls learn leadership skills. All of us have the potential to lead and excel in at least one area of our life. It is critical that girls learn early what it means to be a leader and a role model for others around them. Leadership skills are critical to career success. Team sports can help girls identify their strengths.
4. Sports teach girls goal-setting and the satisfaction of reaching your goals. When you work with coaches, trainers, and teammates to win games and achieve goals, you’re learning how to be successful. Those skills will serve you well at work and in family life.
5. Sports are good for a girl’s health. In addition to being fit and maintaining a healthy weight, girls who play sports are also statistically less likely to smoke or do drugs. Exercise has long term beneftis for women like reducing the risk of osteoporosis, heart disease and breast cancer.
6. Playing sports boosts self-confidence. Girls who participate in sports have higher self-esteem and pride in themselves. Why? It builds confidence when you know you can practice, improve, and achieve your goals.
7. Girls who play sports have a more positive body image than girls who don’t participate. Not only does regular exercise reduce the risk of obesity but it also helps girls have a healthy body image.
8. Exercise reduces stress. Playing sports can lessen stress and the pressures of being a young adult. They also help you feel a little happier. How? The brain chemicals released during exercise improve a person’s mood. This works for you, too, Mom! Take a walk and notice how much better you feel.
9. Being on a team helps girls make friends. Friends are a mood-lifter. And being on a team creates tight bonds between friends. It’s good to know your teammates will support you — both on and off the field! It’s important to kids to know that they belong somewhere, and being part of a team is a great start.
10. Sports are FUN! That’s a good enough reason for any kid to play sports!
Sources for article: http://www.womenssportsfoundation.org and http://www.kidshealth.org
Dr. Minette Riordan is the publisher of North Texas Kids magazine and the mother of two kids, one a 9-year old girl who doesn’t love team sports. She understands the challenges of convincing her kids to get off the couch and get more exercise! Read other articles like this one at http://www.northtexaskids.com and make sure to subscribe to the new digital format of North Texas Kids magazine.