Discovery Point Blog

June 14, 2022

6 Lessons Children Learn from Playing Sports

Many people engage in sports for physical activity and perfect skills. For others, sports are a fun way to pass the time, whether by watching or playing them. However, for young children, sports can be so much more than just a way to keep active and have fun. 

The beauty of sports is that they teach us lessons without us even realizing it. If you’re considering encouraging your children to get involved in sports, you’ll quickly find that doing so offers more benefits than you may have previously imagined.

Here are six of the crucial life lessons your children can learn when they make sports a part of their lives.

1. Mistakes are learning experiences.

Your child is not going to be an exceptional soccer or basketball player from the get-go. As they learn the basics of a new sport, they’re bound to make mistakes that make them stop and really think about what they can do differently next time. 

Over time, this constant process of trial and error can help them understand that mistakes are bound to happen. The question is not how we can avoid them, but what we can learn from them. 

2. Being a great leader is about understanding others.

If your child has the chance to be team captain or even simply lead warm-ups one day, they’ll begin to learn that being a leader isn’t about acting as the boss. It’s about understanding others and showing that you care about them. 

When your child is given the chance to practice their leadership skills early on in life, they can develop more empathy for others while also gaining confidence in themselves.

3. Learning how to follow is just as important as learning how to lead.

While learning how to be a great leader is a significant step in a person’s life, so is learning how to follow. As a player on a team, your child will have to follow instructions, cooperate with other players, and gracefully do things they don’t necessarily want to do, whether that’s taking the bench or accepting a call they disagree with. 

This practice can play an essential role in how they interact with others and learn to follow instructions both at school and at home. 

4. We can ride out emotional ups and downs.

Sports come with emotional highs and lows that one must learn to ride with grace. Your child may experience great victories and sour defeats, and each competition will bring new emotions. 

Experiencing these ups and downs in a low-stakes environment can help them more calmly and gracefully deal with strong emotions when they arise in other situations. 

5. Hard work is the number-one requirement for success.

If your child decides they want to be chosen for a certain team or play a certain position, they’ll soon find that there are no shortcuts to improving their skills. Getting better at something requires hard work and consistency, and much of the time the path to success is not quite as exciting as it may look from afar. 

However, as your child begins to see their hard work pay off, they’ll be more likely to be willing to put in the time and effort to get better at other things that interest them rather than calling it quits on something simply because it’s difficult. 

6. We each have our strengths and weaknesses.

Whether your child plays a team sport or an individual sport, they’re bound to notice that certain aspects of the activity come more easily to some players than others. We all have our own gifts and talents. Learning what these are and how to leverage them early on in our lives is often key to success. However, it’s equally important to recognize our weaknesses and choose how we want to handle them. 

Sports can help your child come to terms with areas in which they may have to work harder than others to improve, as well as teach them how to play to their strengths to achieve their goals. 

As you watch your child grow and learn about the world around them, introducing them to new situations in which they may face disappointments or setbacks can be a bit scary. Sports offer a fun and social environment in which your children can learn some of life’s biggest lessons while making lasting memories and friendships along the way.