Want Your Child to Succeed in Life? Try a Sports League at the Y!

Kids who are active in youth sports leagues do better in life.

Numerous studies have found that active kids do better in life. From scoring higher on tests to being more likely to go to college to earning more when they enter the workforce, there is no denying the lifelong benefits that kids who are active enjoy. 

Because most children enjoy playing in groups, one of the best ways to encourage your kids to be active is to get them involved in team sports via a youth sports league. Team sports offer kids an opportunity to build new friendships and learn new skills.

What to look for
Before enrolling your children in a sports league, be sure to understand what motivates them to play so that you can choose the league that is right for them. Nine out of 10 kids says they play team sports because it is fun, according to a 2014 study by George Washington University. This seems simple at face value, but how kids and adults define fun can be different. 

Adults often define fun as “winning” in respect to team sports. So you may be surprised to learn that of the 81 ways kids defined fun in the study, winning came in at #48! The top ways that kids described fun included:

  • Trying your best
  • When a coach treats a player with respect
  • Getting playing time
  • Playing well together as a team
  • Getting along with teammates
  • Exercising/being active

This is why youth sports leagues at the YMCA of Greater Brandywine focus on engaging every child, building strong team bonds, mastering skills and being physically active. By creating a climate where all feel welcomed, players experience less anxiety and are more likely to learn new skills. They are also more motivated to work toward their goals, remain involved in team sports for many years and develop a lifelong commitment to being physically active. 

And finally, the Y’s unwavering commitment to safety means that every coach has completed extensive training on how to encourage and support kids to do their best in a team environment. Prevention of injury, risk, overuse and burnout is emphasized. Warm up is incorporated into every practice. And finally, background checks and child abuse clearances are completed for all Y coaches.