We have always been told to go out and play as kids, and our parents would go to great lengths to bring us any sports equipment needed. This raises the question, why are sports important for youth? The simple reason is that sports help kids grow.
Not just physically but also mentally, emotionally, and socially. Pick any game, be it tennis, baseball, basketball, or football; every game teaches kids discipline, the value of hard work, and many other valuable life lessons. A vital part of life as a human being is learning. If we aren’t learning, we aren’t growing.
Sports teach us a lot about character, virtue, and strength. A lot of kids who are generally socially shy or do not fit in their school find an escape in sports. It also helps them make friends much easier than they could otherwise. So, let’s discuss these aspects of sports in depth.
Relationship Between Growing Age and Sports
Any scientist would agree that physical activity helps kids of growing age, until puberty ends, to grow much stronger. Our bones are rather soft at a young age, and they mostly consist of something called cartilage.
The cartilage is like a blueprint for the growing bone, which is also why an injury at a young age can lead to disfigurement later in life. Regardless, the cartilage requires a hormone called the Growth Hormone to grow not only vertically but also horizontally in width.
The amount of this hormone release depends on how active a kid is. Running, hitting a ball with a bat, kicking a football, jumping to score a hoop, all of these exerting activities increase the release of growth hormone significantly. However, it is important to remember a key difference between activity and physical stress.
When we are running, a lot of energy is exhausted, and this releases something called serotonin or happy hormone. It brings us that “high” we feel after a good run or a 90-minute football game. Meanwhile, exercises that physically stress the body to an overpowering extent, like weightlifting, can have adverse effects.
There is a part of our growing bones that normally gets fixed at the late stages of puberty, around the age of 21. This means that bone will no longer grow in length, only in width. This particular part can get fixed rather early if weightlifting is started at an early age, which is often why we see stunted heights with exceptional bodies.
How Sports Help Build Character
A lot of the sports our parents motivated us to play were team-centered sports. They were most probably actively motivated by their parents into the same sport, if not similar. Such team-based sports have a very critical role in the development of a kid’s personality and character.
It teaches them how to have another teammate’s back through thick and thin. It also shows them that their teammates will have their backs at all times. It teaches them that things in life can get low, just like a football match being lost by a huge score difference. But it also shows that such moments in life, just like the match, can be turned around by force of will and effort.
It helps us all see that if you are dedicated to achieving a goal in life, there is no power on earth to stop you. It also allows them to have a certain release of aggression, especially in games like American football or soccer. This can be fruitful as it is a form of catharsis or therapy for many who are troubled by some trauma in life. It allows those negative emotions to be channeled into something productive.
Most importantly, sports teach them to restrict their aggression just on the field, thus allowing a calm temperament outside the field. These are some of the key lessons every kid should learn to succeed in life, and just like we did, I hope our kids learn these too.
Conclusion for Why Are Sports Important for Youth
To summarize the detailed discussion we just had, any sport can teach important lessons to a kid. Be it something physically exhausting like football or focusing on a single group of muscles of the body, like table tennis.
These sports help bone growth at an early age, allowing for much stronger body frames. They also help in the release of happy hormones such as serotonin and dopamine, which brings the kid a feeling like they are on the clouds.
Sports also build a strong character by teaching the importance of teamwork. It allows kids to grow up and become remarkable leaders in whatever career they choose. They also help them understand and find a positive outflow for their emotions, no matter how complex.
Our parents may not have known how to put all these facts into these exact words, but they most certainly knew what this feels like. Their wisdom allowed us to enjoy the euphoric world of sports, something our kids will one day experience, too.