Sports are the first activities that parents find to enroll their children in at a young age. The question is whether or not sports are good for children. If they are good, does excessive sport play exist? How much is too much? These are valid questions that have been asked by doctors, coaches and parents. How young is too young, and what are the physical implications of involving children in sports?
Children’s bodies seem to be resilient. However, their injuries are more likely to lead to lifelong problems. Sports are wonderful for children for many developmental reasons. They provide several positive benefits. Children are able to engage with other peers in an activity that is fun. Also, sports help to improve their motor skills. This is important for young children learning to grasp, use hand-eye coordination and other motor skills.
Another wonderful aspect of getting children involved in sports is socializing. Children learn to socialize by being around other people. Generally, in a home environment they are around parents and siblings. Sports show a child how to interact with others who they do not know. This promotes relationship building skills. Also, sports are wonderful with helping children stay fit. Because sports involve physical activity, children are able to exert energy. It is helpful to parents, when a child uses their energy, because it is a wonderful way to get a sleepy child at night time. Also, sports reinforced good health habits.
When looking at negative effects of sports, there is one major factor. This is how much is too much? Recently, Loyola University Medical Center in Chicago performed a study which had surprising results. They found that too much sports activity can be harmful. Many parents place their children in multiple activities. This may be to help children find their talent or explore various interests. The study is based on the amount of weekly training or intense sports activity hours. The results found, when the child spends more hours than their age practicing or playing, they are 70 percent more likely to have injuries to their backs, elbows, shoulders and other locations. These are called overuse injuries which have long lasting effects. These injuries are more serious than in adults due to lack of development. It is very important for every parent to monitor the amount of weekly hours their child is exerting intense physical energy.