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Title [Voices of Youth] Social benefits of sports for youth

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  • Date
    21-03-2022
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Photo by Spikeball on Unsplash. Photo is not directly related to writing.

Social benefits of sports for youth.

Romee Giri

Romee Giri from Nepal was a Ceremonial Ambassador and speaker for the 2016 Rio Olympic Games Flaming Event. Currently she has graduated from Seoul National University (Dream Together Master Program- Sports Management) and is a 4th Dan Taekwondo practitioner. 


Exercise has many physiologic benefits, such as weight loss and improved cardiovascular health (Laukkanen, 2018). Some young people may be surprised to find that exercise has not only physiologic benefits but also social benefits. Playing sports is much more than just a means of weight loss or building muscles. When exercise becomes a way of life for youth, it will bring various social impacts which will lead to happiness and well-being.

 

Self-esteem

Self-esteem refers to an individual’s overall perception of his/her own worth and significance in the eyes of others (Efrosini ,at el., 2010). It is difficult to feel at ease in a group or to assert yourself socially if you’re battling with self-doubt. It might be difficult to improve own’s self-esteem by him/herself.

However, in sports, there is practice of appreciation in the form of slap on the back, a high-five from a buddy, or a handshake with an opponent at the end of a game, which all help to build self-esteem in youth. The challenge is not to let their self-esteem be defined by whether they win or lose. Instead, they should concentrate on their effort and love of the sports.

Coaches’ and teammates’ supportive connection as well as parental encouragement can all have a significant impact on youth’s self-esteem. Hence, it is better to practice asking, “how did it go?” in contrast to “did you win?” or even better, “did you enjoy it?” which lead to development of their self-esteem.

 

Socialization

Playing sports is a beautiful way of socializing for youth. If they favor playing organized sports, the team aspect would introduce them to many new acquaintances. Or even if they prefer to be engaged in a solitary sports, such as rollerblading or hiking, there are other people around with whom they can share experience.

Sports also help to develop valuable social skills such as ability to cooperate with others, work as team and solve problems. The majority of team sports offer youth both leadership and team-building ability. This high level of collaboration teaches them to learn to listen to their friends and not to be selfish. These lifetime skills will lead them to find more success in their lives.

 

Resilience

Youth are more anxious ever but exercise can help them to face and overcome challenges. The consequence of exercise, such as increased heart rate and sweating, is the same reaction when we go through stress or tension. It is usually believed that regular exercise can help to regulate these body systems even during periods of high mental stress or worries.

Playing sports also teaches youth to be a good loser. Losing is a very natural phenomenon when you are involved in playing sports. When you lose, you get a chance to learn from failure, deal with unhappy feeling and bounce back from the loss. This experience will be an invaluable asset for youth to cope with difficulties and build resilience.


In conclusion, exercise should be an option for all youth around the world. When playing sports becomes a way of life for youth, it can enhance self-esteem and develop social skills which leads to well-being. But one important thing is that participation in sports and its physiologic and social benefits will be more effective when he/she freely choose an activity that he/she enjoys the most.

 

References:

Efrosini at el. (2010): Assessment of self-reported self-esteem in healthy and diabetic children and adolescents in Greece, Periodical Journal of Diabetes, Issue:2, P.g.:104-111

Jari A. Laukkanen (2018):Cardiovascular Benefits of Group Sport Interventions: Importance of Improved Fitness in Risk Reduction; Periodical Mayo Clinic Proceedings Issue:10,P.g. : 1343-1345