With the football World Cup not long over, it is worth reflecting that research has shown that children involved in team sport have higher self-confidence, better self-esteem and are less likely to be depressed or anxious.
Any exercise – provided it is age appropriate and your child enjoys it – is good for your child’s fitness. In the case of team sports, it has been shown that, in addition to the benefits of the physical activity, the sense of belonging that often comes with being part of a team can improve children’s general mood.
When choosing a club for your child, ask other parents about their experiences, go along to watch training or matches to see how the team or club is run and check out the team’s or club’s policies and procedures to ensure that they follow all appropriate good practice.
By taking these steps, you can better ensure that the club or team will be well-run and that your child will enjoy their sport and gain lots of benefits from it, including better fitness, better self esteem, stronger social skills, a developed sense of responsibility and a wider friendship group.
Of course, if your child is not into team sports, that’s fine – not all children are! Instead, there will be other avenues – perhaps artistic – through which they can gain similar benefits.