Benefits of participating in sports include an opportunity for socialization, better health, learning new skills and having a supportive, structured environment, while drawbacks include pressure from parents, overemphasis on winning and neglect from fellow players or coaches of sub-par athletes. Regardless of the specific activity, sports can offer physical and psychological benefits for participants. They can provide enjoyment, relieve stress and provide positive direction for young athletes.
Many popular sports are team activities, which can increase children's socialization skills. Children learn to work with teammates, and in turn build trust and learn how to work together to resolve differences. Young athletes also learn the basics of healthy competition and cooperation, and have a chance to spend more time with friends.
Sports can also give participants new life skills. Each team member contributes certain strengths and talents, and hearing praise and positive feedback for those unique skills bolsters self-esteem and fosters a positive attitude. Sports also offer health benefits by burning excess calories and help tone bodies and build muscle.
Although sports bring many benefits, they can harm self-esteem and become unenjoyable in some cases. Sometimes, eager parents and coaches manipulate games and practices by exercising excessive control. In this case, children lose the valuable opportunity to make their own decisions and solve problems, which can cause negative experiences in other aspects of their lives too.