YMCA of Greater Erie

No matter what the activity, when kids are encouraged to participate in sports, they’re given the advantage of learning about the importance of physical activity at a young age.

It may not be quite so apparent at the time, but it could help to set a precedent that they’ll likely carry on later in life.

And of course, that’s not the only thing kids learn from playing sports. Below, is my perspective as an athlete and mom on the top 5 life lessons kids learn from sports:

  1. Accountability – Kids learn to take care of their bodies, their equipment and each other. Kids learn to work with others and to be good team mates, gracious in defeat and humble in success.
  2. Perseverance – Kids learn to be disciplined, focused and dedicated. Kids learn to deal with disappointment, when they don’t get that place or title they hoped, they go back week after week giving it their best shot.
  3. Goal-setting – Kids learn it takes hours and hours, years and years of hard work and practice to create a champion and that success does not happen overnight. They learn to be proud of small achievements and to work towards long-term goals.
  4. Character – Kids learn to respect, not only themselves, but other athletes, officials and coaches. They learn to be disciplined, focused and dedicated.
  5. Time Management – Kids learn to plan their schedule so that schoolwork is not jeopardized because of sports. Busy days provide the opportunity to teach kids about planning and scheduling their time.

Sports provide so many unique opportunities to teach kids valuable life lessons. Parents, guardians, coaches and friends must work together to ensure young people are fully supported in understanding how to transfer these lessons to school, work and social situations.

Monica Olesnanik
Sports & Recreation Director, Downtown YMCA