Why Children Should Play Sports and How Sports Are Good For Kids

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When it comes to whether or not your child should play sports, forget the whole “they aren’t an athlete” or “they don’t like sports,” and instead think about the experience as an enrichment activity.

Meaning, I’m sure your child might not like math, but will still push for good grades. And, I’m almost certain they don’t really enjoy brushing their teeth, but we are definitely going to make sure they’re doing so every morning or night, right?

Of course, playing a sport isn’t a school requirement, and yes, not playing won’t lead to poor health or hygiene. My point is, though, sometimes (many times) kids don’t like doing certain things, but we as parents want and need to push them to give those things a shot because we think they might benefit from doing so.

This is all very easy for me to say as an athlete growing up, and as someone who really loved playing sports, and got a ton out of playing both on the diamond and court and off of each. I didn’t have to be pushed or convinced for the most part, and looked forward to most anything sport-related as a child, teen, and even now to this day.

But while sports being an easy thing for me to accept as a child, I’ve already experienced the other side of the coin as a new dad; and have struggled to get my oldest to really latch onto and get excited at the idea of playing a sport.

So, all things considered, I like to think I’m pretty well-qualified to walk you through the many different reasons why your child should play sports, even if the experience ends up being a disaster.

Why Kids Should Play Sports

Kids should play sports in order to learn how to be a part of a team, and to build valuable skills like perseverance, determination, and good sportsmanship. Playing sports also allows for fun and entertainment, relationship-building, and more.

From teamwork and discipline to just about everything else you’d expect your child to get out of a scenario where they are tasked with meeting new people and working together with those people to accomplish a common goal, here are five big reasons why kids should play sports.


Perhaps the most obvious reason, but so important nonetheless. Kids should play sports in order to learn how to work with others. Throughout their lives, they will consistently be tasked with working within groups and teams in order to accomplish the task at hand, whether that’s a school project, or simply as part of company or organization as they progress through their future career.

Read More: Unique Gifts for Kids Who Love Sports

Thus, starting with sports at a young age can introduce the concept of, yes, you are an individual, and can only fully-control your own efforts, but you’re also on a team with others; with each of you requiring on the next person to know their role and do their part so that the team can achieve victory.

In fact, a team sport might be the first chance your child has to work with a group of others to accomplish a common objective, as group-work in school won’t really come until they reach later elementary years.

When the end of the season rolls around, so might not love being named something like “best teammate” at the end of year awards, but it’s quite the compliment.


Yes, some kids have more natural athletic ability than others, but everyone at one time or another is taking a step onto the playing field or court for the very first time.

Meaning, things won’t be easy, and just like learning any new skill, growing to be an adept athlete takes practice and determination, and importantly, resilience when things aren’t easy or flat out difficult.

Here are a few additional strategies for building resilience in your kids.


Let’s not forget what sports are—they’re games! And, let’s also not forget, that one big reason for kids to do anything is to have fun. And last, not to mention that when kids are having fun, they’re engaged, and more open to (whether they know it or not) learning something new.

So, a goal of ours as parent should be to try and make the not-fun activities more fun and engaging while at the same time ensuring we are still allowing kids to have fun through things like sports and games, and also hobbies whether that’s collecting Squishmallows, beanie babies, or baseball cards; reading, cooking, and more.


The root of sport, right? Healthy competition is a powerful motivator, and I’ve put it last not because it’s least important, but because with competition, kids can get all of the above.

Teamwork obviously to work and come together for victory.

Fun because one big aspect of games being fun is the fact that there is competition either against an other or even yourself.

Resilience because competition at the root is what keeps us going. It helps us get up when we are knocked down and to want to do more and more.

Like all things, it requires balance—check out these pros and cons of competition for kids.


This pandemic has taught us a lot, right? For kids, and depending on age, they may have had all opportunities to connect with other kids stripped of them. So, as the world starts to get back to normal, building relationships becomes even more critical, and sports provides one opportunity to kickstart that.

Even before all of this came about, think about the kids they have a chance to interact with…it’s more or less the same kids as they go through school, or pal around the neighborhood, right?

Through extracurriculars, though, like sports, their teammates are drawn at random at least when younger, which allows them to interact with new and different kids they’ve probably never met, for the most part. You never know where those relationships will lead.


With winning comes losing, and while sports are great for kids to learn, get familiar with, and benefit from competition, there can only be one winner. Sports allow kids to get familiar with the feeling of defeat. And, while tough, being a gracious “loser” is an important skill. (In fact, it should be considered a basic skill for soccer, basketball, baseball, and really nay sport.)

That said, just as important is being a gracious winner, and learning how to be respectful no matter a game’s outcome.


While sports offer a number of “behind the scenes” benefits, let’s not forget a crucial area—exercise. For some kids, getting enough athletic activity is easy, and thus time with sports is just a big cherry on top. But for others, getting outdoors or interested in athletics is difficult.

Similar to creatively sneaking in vegetables so kids get proper nutrients, sports can be a way to get your kids moving without them really thinking about it or dreading it as they would a basic trip to the gym or around the track.

Play Ball?

Per the above, there are plenty of reasons to get your children involved in sports. Will they love every single sport they play and be completely engaged in every practice or game? Of course not, but few activities offer such luxury.

Read More: Best Foldable Soccer Goals

On a personal note, we started our oldest with golf when he was about 2 1/2, and it was a disaster. Now, we are giving sports another shot two years later—maybe it was an age thing, or maybe he simply didn’t like golf. We don’t know, and we still won’t know until we give other sports, and probably golf another shot.

So, best of luck! Feel free to share your own experiences and tips.

About Ryan from Sport Stuff Genius 58 Articles
A complete sports fanatic most of his life, Ryan has taken his interest and expert knowledge to Sport Stuff Genius—a blog dedicated to uncovering answers to different questions and bringing fun to all things ball.