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Top 10 sports for kids to play and their advantages 20 November, 2018   

Physicians recommend an active lifestyle and a balanced diet for optimal health.

Children can do this by playing sports, as it gives them a chance to get out of the house,

get some fresh air and make new friends. Let’s take a look at the top 10 sports for kids and their benefits.

Soccer:


There’s something about soccer that makes it such an appealing sport for kids and adults alike.

  • It’s good for cardiovascular health:

All that running around gets the heart pumping, and is great for blood circulation.

  • Improves concentration:

Focussing on the ball, and looking for opportunities and openings helps to improve concentration

  • Soccer involves teamwork:

Because of the amount of interaction involved between players, for a team to work as a cohesive unit, soccer develops teamwork.

  • Improves reaction time:

Soccer is a game where quick decisions have to be made, and this ability spills over into everyday life. Among other benefits, this helps develop problem-solving skills


Swimming:

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Swimming teaches kids a vital survival skill.

  • It helps to develop lung capacity, respiration, and improve heart function.
  • It’s good for beneficial eating and sleeping patterns.
  • It can encourage bonding between you and your children.
  • It improves communication skills, as children need to follow instructions to learn proper technique to swim and navigate the water.

            This makes it one of the most essential, life-saving sports for kids.

  • It improves brain function and coordination, which is a great advantage as they grow into adults.

 Cycling:

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 The wind whistling through your hair, and gliding along the road at 10 miles per hour, is what childhood means to most people.

Cycling has benefits such as:

  • Keeping children physically active
  • Raising metabolic rate
  • Increasing levels of happiness
  • Improving brain function and concentration

Getting a kid a bike is probably one of the best gifts you can give them.

It won’t make exercise seem like a chore.

Basketball:

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Basketball involves a lot of teamwork, which is an important skill for children to learn at a young age.

They can also learn:

  • Sharing
  • Communication
  • How to follow rules
  • Discipline (involved in showing up on time, for example)

 Cardiovascular health is also a plus as the game involves a lot of running up and down the court.

This is one of the many rewarding and fun sports for kids.

Badminton:


Badminton benefits kids in many ways, including:

  • The opportunity to develop and exercise their agility, as the sport involves a wide range of neck and joint movements.
  • The sport is great for eyesight, as the children need to focus on the shuttlecock to hit it.
  • Badminton requires a lot of breathing control to help to do better at the game, which is great for

            developing lung capacity and respiratory control.

  • There’s a lot of cardiovascular activity that goes on, on a badminton court, as the players have to run to and fro,

            and under the nets to play a good game.

 Baseball:

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Baseball is a game with universal appeal for little children, and they often start this sport young.

It’s a sport that promotes teamwork and camaraderie.

It is often on the PTA’s list of things for parents to help out with, and they usually help out with

coaching and hosting the teams after matches.

This can help socialization outside the school, especially for lonely kids.

It is also a great confidence builder, as children often encourage each other, and mistakes are quickly forgiven.

The range of movement in baseball helps to develop upper body strength.

It encourages patience, focus, and concentration, as children have to keep an eye on each other for a successful team effort.

Hockey:

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Hockey is a sport that involves a lot of running and helps with cardio and strength training.

  • Because of all the cardio exercise involved, hockey is great for increased metabolic rate and burning calories.
  • There’s a lot of hand-eye coordination, because of the focus on hitting the ball.

            This can help to build reflexes and better concentration skills.

  • As hockey is an intense exercise, punctuated by periods of rest, it carries

            with it the mental advantages of exercise such as lower chances of depression,

            lowered stress and anxiety, and improved decision-making ability.

  • Since it’s a team sport, hockey teaches children the value of teamwork and working together to achieve goals and fair play.
  • It can also result in a higher level of socialization on and off the field.

Golf:

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The rise of mini-golf courses is a testament to the fact that golf is forever gaining popularity with kids and adults alike.

It’s fun! It’s a sport full of benefits for any kid lucky enough to play it:

  • Social skills and etiquette:

           Golf is all about interacting with people, and kids learn this early on a proper golf course. It is the gateway to adulthood.

  • Safe sport:

          Golf is not a contact sport, and carries with it a very low risk of injury. It helps to strengthen the core muscles,

           and with all the walking involved, stamina is also developed.

  •  Emotional strength:

            Golf is also a great avenue to practice emotional control, as it is expected that losing be graceful, and winning equally so.

            Controlling emotions also helps the game, because it requires intense concentration.

            Critiques and pointers must also be accepted sportingly.

  • Mental skills:

           The amount of concentration and calculation required in making a shot helps to develop these skills in other areas,

            such as school and could contribute towards making them better students.

  • Getting fresh air:

           In an increasingly cloistered world, golf presents an opportunity to get outdoors and get some fresh air, in nature.

Volleyball:

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Volleyball is a very active game.

  • It encourages healthy competition and sportsmanship. Since teammates have to work and communicate quickly,

            volleyball boosts such skills in other areas.

  •  It can also be a great mood booster, boosting confidence and self-esteem, as players constantly encourage each other, and help each other out during the game.
  •  Agility, coordination, speed, and balance are all enhanced by regular participation in volleyball, because of the sheer range of movement in the game.
  •  Because of the constant need to focus on the ball, volleyball improves hand-eye coordination.
  •  Volleyball helps to burn calories and fat.

Martial arts:


There are many martial arts that children can learn. These include Jiu-Jitsu, Karate, Judo,

Tae Kwan Do and Aikido, though there are many more out there. Martial Arts provide definite physical and mental conditioning.

They are some of the most empowering sports for kids.

  • Self-defense:

           In a dangerous world, children could do their best to protect themselves from all the threats out there,

            from bullies to random threats to kidnappers. Martial arts involves offense and defense.

            While we can’t prevent all the bad things that happen in this world, we can certainly take precautions.

            Martial arts can also make children more aware of their surroundings.

  • Meditation:     

           The extreme amount of concentration needed to do the various exercises and movements in various martial

            arts is like a meditative state. This ability can lead to better concentration, and awareness of oneself,

            which is a great advantage to progress in life.

  • Physical fitness:

          Martial arts involves such a range of movement and practice, that any child putting in the required

          work to do well at their chosen martial art is likely to be quite fit.

 


As part of every school curriculum, sports are generally provided to all kids.

However, to encourage them further, or find them a sport they might like, they could join after-school clubs, or other

organizations conducting workshops in their area.

Some children are encouraged to start sport as early as five, while it might be more appropriate to start them on some martial arts a little later in life, such as age eight. Any intense physical activity depends on the child’s preferences, aptitude, and state of health, so these are things to consider

before starting kids on a sporting program.

That said, being aware of some great sports for kids, they should have the opportunity for such a rewarding experience.


 

Resources:

Sports for kids

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