A mom wrote in to us recently for advice about her teenage son who’d developed a habit of quitting everything he began. This time, it was his high school football team. We encouraged her to keep her son on the team because involvement in sports does far more than just keep children busy; it teaches them three skills essential for success in life.
- Goal Setting
Sports give kids a safe place to set goals and experience the thrill of achieving them. Kids can strive to set personal bests and gain confidence in their abilities. That confidence helps them achieve success in school and in their personal relationships, and help prepare them to find success as adults.
- Overcoming Adversity
Sports are a lab for life. As Boys Town head football coach Kevin Kush writes in his book, The 100-Yard Classroom, “The greatest gift of sports to its participants is the opportunity to learn how to overcome adversity in a safe and controlled environment.” By encouraging your child to make and keep a commitment to a sports team or other extracurricular school activity, you are teaching him how to overcome adversity, which is critical for success in life.
- Building Character
Michael Jordan once said, “I’ve failed over and over again in my life. And that is why I succeed.” Not allowing your child to give up when he is afraid of failing or being rejected by friends, or is tired of working hard builds character that can propel your child into life as a successful, productive adult.