Engaging in sports provides incalculable benefits. Not just in terms of the physical exercise it provides, but also in terms of the social and team-building benefits, too.

Families, in particular, can be brought closer together through a shared interest in a sport – whether they’re participating or simply spectating. 

Benefits for Children

Children who participate in sports are more likely to live happier and more fulfilling lives as adults because they’ll have built the habit of exercising. Active children are likely to become active adults, while the reverse is true for inactive ones. 

In some cases, your child might be obviously enthusiastic about one sport in particular and have particular favourites like Virgil van Dijk, Beth Mead, or Bukayo Saka. If they do enjoy a particular sport, encourage them to continue participating or watching this sport, but don’t discourage them from trying other ones! In the case of younger children, it’s probably best to offer a range of options, Roger Federer didn’t take up tennis until he was a teenager, instead picking up skateboarding, badminton, swimming and football.

The health benefits of exercise are substantial, even for those who don’t intend to become professional athletes. So, it’s a good idea for the entire family to get involved in sports, rather than just the kids.

Meet new friends

Sport can bring you into contact with like-minded families, and provide the chance to form enduring friendships. You’ll get a social outlet that can’t be replicated through, say, running alone or on a treadmill. What’s more, the social skills you and your kids build will be applicable to other areas of life. If you can call for the ball, then you’ll probably feel more confident putting your hand up in a classroom or a boardroom. And that’s before we think about the off-field activities that tend to come alongside participation in team sport. Join a football club, and you’ll be invited to the occasional night out, as well as Sunday morning league matches.

Cognitive benefits

The physical benefits of sport are well-documented. But sport has also been heavily linked with cognitive benefits. You’ll improve your problem-solving skills, and your memory, too. Elite-level footballers make a habit of regularly checking their surroundings so that they can determine who they’re going to pass to when they next receive the ball. As such, it’s a workout for the mind as well as the body. 

Whatever your chosen sport, the chances are good that there’s an element of tactical and strategic thinking that will come in useful in school and work, too.

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