The Importance of Sports at a Young Age


Rylyn Christopher, Reporter

In high school, playing a sport is a great way to get exercise and create meaningful friendships. It also takes the pressure off of academics, giving athletes something to look forward to at the end of long school days. For young children playing a sport is equally beneficial but for different reasons.

Children, especially at a young age, gain many benefits from being involved in sports. One of the biggest reasons why parents put their kids in sports is to make friends. One could ask a group of high schoolers and it is guaranteed that some will say they are still friends with someone they met playing youth sports. 

When children are around the age of five, they start school and are learning how to navigate new relationships and social settings. Concepts such as sharing, teamwork, and listening are all important skills kindergarteners gain. Playing a sport incorporates all of these and more. For example, in soccer, young kids can understand the importance of sharing the ball and passing it to teammates to score a goal. The players also begin to grasp the value of listening to a coach, helping to develop their verbal and nonverbal communication skills. Briar Woods students realize the importance of engaging in sports and similar activities. Junior Larissa Reese says “if you don’t play sports you’ll probably be annoying because you wouldn’t have been humbled as a kid.” Additionally junior Bailey Cassada also says “I feel like if you don’t do sports then you just have nothing to do after school, you also won’t be able to take criticism.” 

Youth sports help children develop physically just as much as mentally. These activities help improve fine motor skills, coordination, and heart health. For instance, basketball is beneficial because it incorporates dribbling, passing, and shooting the ball all require fine motor skills and hand-eye coordination. Running up and down the court is a great exercise that strengthens the heart. On top of cardiovascular health, those who play sports during their childhood are less likely to develop type two diabetes. 

Critics argue sports create an unhealthy competitive nature in kids that is counterproductive in the classroom. While sports do enhance one’s competitiveness, it is a good thing for children to want to do the best they can in all aspects of their life. Overall, sports at a young age are extremely important to help children develop physically and mentally.