Benefits of Youth Sports

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Benefits of Youth Sports“Sports do not build character. They reveal it,” said John Wooden, legendary UCLA basketball coach. Playing sports not only provides physical activity, but also other positive benefits. This is especially true for children. A well-structured and organized youth program will provide benefits and positive experiences for young athletes. While children are having fun participating in sports they are also building character, learning to work as a team, and playing fairly. Most people think the only benefits of sports are physical. Sports are more than just developing hand-eye coordination and burning calories, youth sports provide many developmental benefits, physical benefits, and psychological benefits. In addition…show more content…
According to the American Heart Association, one in every three children is overweight. Children who are overweight are more likely to be obese as adults, increasing their risk for diseases and conditions such as diabetes, heart attack, and high blood pressure (Ashe-Edmunds 3). High blood pressure can lead to heart disease, stroke and kidney failure. But weight loss can help reduce high blood pressure, so sports that burn calories address this problem. Depending on the sport that a child participates in, most sports require physical activity. Research has shown that “physical movement can affect the brain’s physiology by increasing cerebral capillary growth, blood flow, oxygenation, growth of nerve cells in the hippocampus, neurotransmitter levels, development of nerve connections, density of neural network, and brain tissue volume” (Donaldson 4). In other words, physical exercise causes short-term relaxation, improved concentration, enhanced creativity and memory, improved mood, and enhanced problem-solving abilities. Sport can help prevent drug and alcohol abuse by teaching young athletes to be aware of their body and how it responds to different stimuli and circumstances. Athletes learn to value what their bodies can do and to maintain those abilities (Jones 2). Being an athlete gives kids an acceptable reason to say no to drugs, alcohol, and other unhealthy behaviors when offered by their peers. The more children
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