Bruce Capers

Gordon State College

February 13th, 2023

Benefits of Youth Sports

The total number of sports that each child plays annually has declined. During the pandemic, the number of sports played slightly decreased due to fears of contracting COVID-19. Parents are a little reluctant to allow participation due to various issues that include but are not limited to coaches' behavior, risk of injury like concussions, too much emphasis on winning, time commitment, cost, and social conflict and dilemmas. 

I have hosted basketball camps with and without “Exact Sports” for many years. Parents often tell me the camps are the best they have attended. Parents often speak on the benefits that are beyond motor skills as part of their experience. There are so many built-in life lessons in youth sports that will help shape and develop young athletes that will transcend into their adult and professional life.

Conflict Resolution

Youth sports involve people with different beliefs and personalities bound to produce conflict. One thing that youth sports do is teach youths how to become problem solvers. How to develop skills to diffuse situations and promote good tough fair play.

Self Confidence

Youth sports and activities are fantastic tools used to build self-confidence among young people, whether they are athletes or not. You experience firsthand practicing and competition against other athletes who display both confidence and the lack thereof.


Youth sports and activities are great resources for building self-esteem among young people. Working hard to accomplish team goals. Working hard enough to see improvements in oneself. Youth sports participation promotes opportunities for individuals to feel good about their individual and team efforts.

The more people can improve and experience success-using skills, the better they feel about themselves.  Building self-esteem encourages individuals to want to accept more challenges and accomplish more goals to feel even better about themselves.

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Physical and Health Benefits

Technology and increased sedentary lifestyles have drastically increased the number of young people who are overweight or suffer from a more severe condition of obesity that leads to a health conditions like high blood pressure, diabetes, and cardiovascular diseases.

There is research that shows young people who participate in youth sports are healthier and suffer less from health conditions. The study also show youth who participate in youth sports are more likely to encourage their families and friends to live active lifestyles their entire life. Serves as an aid to weight management.

Overcoming Adversity

Youth sports present challenges and obstacles that young athletes must overcome. Some people avoid adversity, but sports teach you to accept and confront challenges head-on. Deal with issues as they come. Some young people avoid or run away from adversity. Meeting challenges in youth sports builds confidence and develops future leaders long after their sports playing days.

Social Skills

Youth sports allow young people to develop social skills and meet new friends who are from diverse backgrounds and offer unique traditions that are beneficial to all of humanity. Youth sports allow parents and the community to build a haven and protective environment around youth. The village mentality makes everyone responsible for the well-being and movements of all young people.

Youth sports provide activities that will keep young people off the streets from getting involved in illicit, illegal activity. Parents can use youth sports to create a positive environment for young people to grow and develop. Sports enable you to build better relationships with people.

Mental Health

The public health agency report that regular participation in sports and being active can also promote good mental health. This includes combating negative emotions, reducing anxiety, protecting against depression, and improving moods, and sense of well-being.

Youth Sports Builds Leaders

Studies have found a direct correlation between playing youth sports and strong leadership qualities. Sports enable people to develop a “team mindset,” whether winning, losing, or training. Teaches young people how to stand out and separate themselves from others. Help build and develop patients, discipline, and learning from failure. Youth sports stimulate the positive development of values, attitudes, and behavior.

In conclusion, youth with a sports background mature faster and develop a growth mindset. Competition in sports teaches children how to be successful under pressure and overcome adversity. Building muscle strength, and self-esteem, and reducing the risk of depression are all good reasons to advocate youth sports.

Youth sports organizations, parents, and coaches who operate in a manner that promote growth & development, good sportsmanship, and fun can shape a community to promote the values they represent that will create future leaders and role models in their community.

Youth sports promote responsibility in areas outside of the sport, like homework, and promote healthy habits in nutrition and other positive health habits that affect their athletic performance. Finally, youth sports can serve as a means to inspire parents to become more active and pursue a healthier lifestyle.

Bruce Capers Head Men's Basketball Coach at Gordon State College