Youth Sports Provide Benefits to All
While most children won't grow up to become professional athletes, they can still enjoy many benefits from playing sports that will help them for years to come. Recreational sports leagues, like the ones offered at the Y, are a great way for kids to engage in physical activity, refine motor and coordination skills, enhance cognitive development and build character.
The World Health Organization recommends that all children ages 5-17 should engage in at least 60 minutes of moderate to vigorous-intensity physical activity daily to set a foundation for a lifetime of fitness and good health. Practices and games in Y leagues are typically an hour each, which helps meet that goal twice a week.
MOTOR AND COORDINATION SKILLS
Repetitive motions and new challenges provided in sports can help children enhance their physical skills, including fine motor skills, balance and endurance. Actions like kicking, catching, throwing and swinging develop coordination and depth perception. Practicing and refining these skills is especially important for younger children.
Problem-solving, decision making and logical reasoning are key components of sports. Kids learn how to quickly assess a situation and make a decision when playing as a team.
Recreational sports give kids plenty of chances to make decisions without the fear of familure or intense pressure to win that can come with competitive leagues.
At the Y, the emphasis is placed on teamwork, sportsmanship and the value of participating over winning. Good sportsmanship teaches kids how to communicate with children and adults, and how to work with others to accomplish a common goal.
Putting all of these benefits together can help kids be happy, healthy and confident, no matter their skill level. Every child, regardless of their ability, can benefit from participating in recreational sports.
The Y is a great place to introduce kids to sports because our leagues are a combination of fun and skill-building that places an emphasis on teamwork over winning. Visit our Current Sports page to explore our spring sports programs. And our Challenger sports are a great way for individuals with diverse abilities to experience the many benefits of sports.