Team sports are a rite of passage for school age boys across the country. From football in the fall to baseball in springtime, competitive sports have defined generations of youth. Besides the acquisition of obvious skills in a particular sport, participation nets youths with benefits that go far beyond punting footballs or catching grounders.
Young boys develop physical stamina and health, confidence in their abilities, as well as perseverance. They also learn to understand the value of teamwork and leadership. Young athletes that play sports will be rewarded with a sense of accomplishment as they set goals and to work hard at reaching them.
In a society where obesity has risen to near epidemic levels, boys who participate in competitive sports attain a level of physical conditioning that excels their peers who merely attend public school physical education classes. Physical conditioning sets athletes apart by giving them a solid understanding of fitness, and the discipline necessary to keep their bodies in top form.
A boy in sports learns to persevere. Under the watchful eyes of dedicated coaches, a boy soon learns the value of sticking with the program, even when the going gets tough. Youth athletes become acquainted with their personal limits and, more importantly, how to surpass them. Lessons in perseverance at an early age build confidence and establish patterns of endurance that will serve him well throughout his life.
Early on in sports, young men see the accomplishments of those who have gone before them. With a sports role model, boys will learn to dream big. In achieving their dreams, boys learn additional lessons as well: perseverance, patience, and goal setting. Instead of day dreaming over fantasies, boys learn to systematically attain one level of success at a time. As each goal is met, the thrill of accomplishment will propel them forward to higher standards.
A young man in sports will soon begin to recognize his own talents and abilities, and the important seed of confidence is sown. Even when failure is the lesson of the day, boys can gain important skills. Losing can develop sportsmanship and in encourage boys to try harder, do better and reach the mark. When boys face tough opponents they gain confidence. Sports are a personal test a that help a boy grow into a man.
Inherent in competitive sports is the value of teamwork. As a competitor, youth discover how to work with their teammates. Learning to be a contributing member of a team is a valuable skill that will help boys throughout their life. When playing on a team, athletes gain a perspective of the bigger picture and learn to set aside petty differences for the good of everyone. Sportsmanship develops when boys shares in the glory of winning, and the disappointment of defeat.
It is difficult to measure the potential benefits for a young man who participates in a youth sports program. The lessons learned have an effect that extend far beyond childhood. Sports build positive character traits such as perseverance, confidence and goal setting abilities. These less tangible rewards grow alongside the physical benefits of health and fitness creating well-rounded young men with the skills and integrity to succeed.