5 Great Lessons Kids Learn From Sports

value of sports

When I was a child, soccer was barely on TV, let alone women’s soccer. In fact, the United States didn’t even have a women’s soccer team until the mid-1980s. At that time, women’s team sports weren’t on anyone’s radar. All of that changed in 1999 when the U.S. women’s soccer team won the World Cup. In a tight game, the U.S. and China battled through two overtimes in front of an electric crowd of over ninety thousand. It was the high watermark for a women’s sporting event; but regardless of gender, it was one of the greatest sporting events in history. That U.S. team was special and the players, Michelle Akers, Briana Scurry, Carla Overbeck, Joy Fawcett, Kristine Lilly, Mia Hamm, Brandi Chastain, and Julie Foudy empowered little girls (and boys, but especially girls) everywhere to dream.

The value of sports goes way beyond the fields. There is so much kids can gain. Whether your child is a natural athlete or is completely uncoordinated, here are 5 things your kids can learn from sports.

1. Respect for Authority

Sports have rules and in order for a player and team to be successful, they have to play within those rules. NFL Hall of Fame coach Tony Dungy is often asked what lessons he learned in sports. He and his wife Lauren wrote a children’s book called Austin Plays Fair about the importance of playing by the rules. Check out what Coach Dungy says about this important lesson and this special book:

2. Perseverance

Sports help kids realize that they can overcome adversity. There are games they are going to win and games they are going to lose, just as in life. Sports teach them how to come back after a loss, how to improve and work hard. They will develop confidence in dealing with future challenges. When the difficult times in life strike, kids will be able to draw strength from remembering how they overcame struggles on the field.

3. Treating Others Well

It is important in life to learn how to do both win well and lose well. The most important thing in life is relationships, more than winning and losing. People show their true colors when they are in pain. Kids need to learn that even when they are broken-hearted and frustrated they need to treat others with dignity and respect. They also need to remember to remain humble when they win because as the old adage goes, pride goes before the fall. Sports is a great avenue to learn these lessons.

4. Developing Courage

It takes courage to step on a field or court and face a challenge. It takes courage to train and invest physically and emotionally into something with the risk of losing. Coach Dungy and his wife Lauren also wrote a children’s book about learning to be courageous through sports called, Maria Finds Courage. Check out Coach Dungy talking about courage and this new book:

5. Teamwork

One of the greatest traits that sports will ever teach our children is the ability to work alongside other people for a common purpose. We all need help and to learn to work well with others. Sports above all else teaches this lesson vividly.

Tell us! What other lessons can kids learn from sports?