Youth Sports and Your Child: A Winning Combination
A compelling after-school program for your child can help turn aimless hours and screen time into productive, enjoyable learning time that enhances their lives for years to come. We looked at a broad set of research on youth sports plus our kids (and parents) to figure out how ActivStars were performing in our programs, in class, and their daily lives.
We found a few important things that show just how much your child would benefit from a rigorous after-school program of youth sports. Of course, we’d love them to become ActivStars, but we hope this can help convince you to get them in whichever program works best.
If you want the highlights, here are six things that scientific studies have linked after-school sports and team programs to developing:
- Improved focus on accomplishing goals
- Increased discipline
- Improved ability to work as part of a team (outside of sports)
- Enhanced physical skills such as balance and coordination
- Increased enjoyment of participating in social activities
- Activity is also linked to a reduced risk of obesity, type 2 diabetes, and heart disease
Keep reading to learn about some more surprising benefits we’ve discovered.
Behavioral Benefits Are Most Impactful When Specifically Taught
Here’s one of the most interesting findings from a major review of after-school and weekend school programs: behavioral benefits such as improving leadership, developing character, or keeping behavior appropriate are found to be most successful and long-lasting when specifically taught.
This means children need more than a study hall where they are shushed when too loud. They need specific help and guidance on how to behave. Children need “programming directed at developing social and emotional skills” to achieve significant positive effects on social behavior and self-perceptions.
ActivStars works these skills into our training and coaching so that all of our youth have opportunities to learn and grow. You can find out more about this in our SAFEShield and anti-bullying programs, as well as our youth cheer training.
Youth Benefit More with a Learning Approach
The American Academy of Child and Adolescent Psychiatry says that youth sports programs focusing on teambuilding and learning instead of a win-at-all-costs philosophy provide better lessons because they encourage your child to determine what is appropriate for many areas of their lives.
Or, as the group says, it is essential to teach children that “success is not the same thing as winning, and failure is not the same thing as losing.”
That’s why our approach focuses heavily on learning and self-improvement, not purely winning. This is especially true in our soccer programs where we treat every experience — even games — as an opportunity to learn.
Our youth have a chance to ask every adult for help or guidance and see what kinds of attitudes are best for them in life. It’s most important for children to learn and grow, so we train our coaches on that philosophy and prepare them with the right strategies to help our stars shine.
The lessons your child learns during sports and after-school youth sports will shape how they grow and behave in their adult life. Join us in providing the right example for healthy participation in society.
Your Family Benefits Too
The last youth sports benefit we think you’ll love is the fact that after-school programs are proven to help working families and their communities. Programs like ours give youth a safe place to go while parents are at work and help those parents avoid unnecessarily missing work due to childcare concerns.
Youth.gov notes that parents concerned about after-school care miss an average of eight work days per year. This can easily take up all of their sick and vacation days, meaning they have to lose out on pay as they struggle to keep their children safe when the school day is over.
Youth involved in after-school and weekend programs are more likely to be supervised by adults and studies find that the children feel safer in their lives overall compared to youth who do not participate in such programs.
ActivStars has been providing children in our community with a safe place to be after their school days for decades. Click here to learn more about our programs and see what’s available in your area.