Does playing sports help kids develop self esteem and build good character?
Today’s guest post from Coach Mario Sousa, who has been coaching youth sports for over 19 years, shares what he believes builds self confidence and self esteem when kids play sports.
I believe the way to build a child’s self-esteem is by teaching them how to set goals, work hard, accomplish tasks, understand the body, and learn from failure. Introducing your child to sports is just one of the ways they can build these skills.
Individual sports like running, swimming, or golf are great for children of all levels because not only can they compete with a team, but they can also compete against their own scores or times.
Hard Work: Through sports, a child will learn that practicing diligently with the team may not be enough; to improve they will need to spend extra time practicing certain skills on their own.
Doing so will not only build confidence, but it will also garner praise from the coach and teammates, while putting the child in a leadership position giving incentive to his teammates to improve themselves as well.
Accomplishing Tasks: After losing a game the child can learn that there is no shame in working hard and coming up short. The key is effort, personal development and having fun.
Understanding the Body: In sports children learn to value their body for “what it can do” not simply for “how it looks”. Children who play sports have a more positive body image and experience higher states of psychological well-being than those who do not play sports.
Learning from Failure: Children gain self-esteem by playing a game hard, losing, picking themselves up, congratulating the other team, and then going home and working hard with hopes of defeating that team the next time. Working hard to improve is something that can help children gain confidence thus bolstering their self-esteem.
Regardless of the skill level of the child, playing sports can be a fantastic way for children to build self-esteem. Competition is a good thing, so encourage your child to find confidence in a real and meaningful way.
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