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The Benefits of Youth Sports Can Last a Lifetime

Oluyinka Reno, MD
Department of Pediatrics

Many families understand the importance of having children engage in Youth Sports. Participation in sports offers a host of benefits for children. These benefits include improved physical, mental, and social wellbeing.

Here are some important ways your children can benefit from participating in youth sports:

Sports can enhance academics
Playing sports requires quite a bit of learning. It involves repetition and memorization of the rules of the sport. Goal setting and time management skills are also a vital part of training for these activities. These skill sets can enhance academic performance. They can be applied to learning in a classroom setting. This may be one reason high school athletes are more likely to attend and graduate from a four-year college according to the Aspen Institute’s Project Play.

Sports teach teamwork and leadership
Being on a team means working towards a common goal with others. This allows children to learn how to work well with others. Studies show that participating in sports may promote development of good social skills and excellent leadership qualities. These are skills that will serve them well into adulthood.

Sports can help boost self-esteem
Athletes have the chance to watch their hard work pay off. Achieving set goals helps children build confidence and improve self-esteem.

Sports Benefit Children’s Health
Today, children are struggling more than ever with obesity. For this reason, many organizations, including the American Academy of Pediatrics, recommend that children get at least one hour or more of exercise per day. When we exercise regularly, we build stronger bones, improve circulation, and boost our energy levels. Exercise can also help decrease depression and anxiety symptoms. Maintaining a healthy weight during childhood also helps decrease the chance of obesity-related problems later in life.

Most schools and communities offer opportunities for children to participate in a variety of sports activities. Get your child involved so they can benefit!

The Benefits of Youth Sports Can Last a Lifetime

About Oluyinka Reno, MD

Growing up as one of four children, Dr. Oluyinka Reno always seemed to know she would become a doctor. “I sometimes joke that my parents brainwashed me into becoming a doctor. But the truth is I always had an interest in science and math, so it was natural for me to be drawn to medicine.” she remarks.

Dr. Reno has always enjoyed being with children, even at an early age. “As the oldest of four, I used to babysit my siblings and...

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