Smart Tips for Parents To Encourage Their Children to Play Sports and Stay Safe is written in partnership with At Your Own Risk
I love that my kids both play on sports teams. That they are passionate about improving their physical skills at their given sport and that they are learning how to play nice with others and the true meaning of the phrase “sportsmanship.” I have also seen how being student athletes has helped each of them become more responsible and have an outlet outside of their rigorous academic schedules to bond with their teammates who they might not have otherwise befriended. It basically broadens their world and their social experience while at the same time helps them to stay physically sharp!
While I work out nearly everyday and feel better for it, I wasn’t always like this in fact I was influenced by my daughter who has run cross country and track for three years and my son who is plays basketball and baseball on leagues in our community.
I know my commitment to keeping up with my kids and their fervent interest in sports is also influenced by the sad fact that both of my parents passed away in their sixties- and my fear of not being around for my kids really solidified my decision to get fit and healthy and stay fit as a family.
In short we are big advocates of keeping our kids in sports hence my interest to work on this campaign for At Your Own Risk and share Smart Tips for Parents To Encourage Their Children to Play Sports and Stay Safe. The benefits of sports are numerous and go beyond the physical benefits. Everybody knows that regular physical activity helps contribute to healthier, longer lives. But, did you know that involvement in high school sports delivers a wide array of non-physical benefits as well?
Smart Tips for Parents To Encourage Their Children to Play Sports and Stay Safe
For starters, high school students who participate in sports are far less likely to drop out of school. In fact, participation in high school sports actually has been shown to deliver consistently higher grades
People who played competitive sports in high school demonstrate more confidence, leadership, and self-respect.
In addition to improved concentration and classroom behavior those who participate in high school sports are 15 PERCENT more likely to attend college.
They also experience a clear advantage later in life. They are more successful in their careers, more attuned to teamwork and more committed to seeing tasks all the way through. These are the great parts about sports and athletic participation but there can also be a downside.
We have been very lucky so far because none of our kids has had any major injuries or needed to leave the playing field or court. It is important to engage in physical activity but more important to make sure our children are in a safe environment when they play and compete because high school athletes can face a variety of challenges due to their involvement in sports.
- 90 PERCENT of student athletes report some sort of sports-related injury in their athletic careers.
- 54 PERCENT of student athletes report they have played while injured.
- 37 PERCENT of high school athletes say they have experienced sprains.
- 12 PERCENT report they have sustained concussions and head injuries from their time on the field. In 2012 alone,
- 163,670 MIDDLE SCHOOL OR HIGH SCHOOL ATHLETES were reported being seen in the emergency room for a concussion
A parent’s worst nightmare is to see his or her child in pain and taken away to an emergency room. Injuries during sports-related events and practices seem inevitable but there are steps that parents can take to help reduce that risk for their child. Parents teaming up with athletic trainers can help provide those safe conditions.
In an increasingly litigious world, community leaders must be more vigilant in protecting the well-being of their workers, students, and other constituencies. The addition of an athletic trainer to your team could be the answer.
Athletic trainers (ATs) are highly skilled health care professionals who work with your organization to advise on and execute plans to address issues such as emergency and preventative care, environmental conditions, facility and equipment safety, and other sports- and job-related matters. ATs can help your school, business or community organization better oversee injury prevention, assessment, treatment, and rehabilitation.
You can watch this video about how we must make sports safety a priority
When you encourage your kids to be physically fit and compete, the prolonged benefits are so valuable, but we all have to make sure they compete in a safe environment injuries are prevented and they are monitored for any situation that can arise due to injury. Download this Parent Checklist for Youth Sports Safety here!
And now that you have the safety part down there are of course, there are also the kids that may need a bit more encouragement to engage in a sports-related activity and outdoor time. Children's activity levels inevitably vary at all ages, but if you're having some trouble encouraging your child to spend time outdoors, there are a number of simple steps you can take to spark their imagination and help them to hit the ground running with these 4 Smart Tips To Help Encourage Your Child to Play Sports
Smart Tips for Parents To Encourage Their Children to Play Sports and Stay Safe Sign Them Up For A Team Sport
If your child has a lot of energy and seems as though they could benefit from participating in a team sport after school, sit down with them and talk it over. Don't be pushy about it, of course, but tell them you want to see them reach their potential and you think it'd be healthy for them. Chances are, they'll bring up their favorite sport in gym or most beloved recess activity. If not, there's no harm in taking a chance and letting them try a new sport. For example, 25 million kids play soccer around the globe every year, and there are plenty of opportunities to register your child for a seasonal and age-appropriate soccer league.
Smart Tips for Parents To Encourage Their Children to Play Sports and Stay Safe Turn Outdoor Time Into Family Time
In addition to considering a team sport for your child, don't neglect the importance of forming a strong family-based team. Commit to having at least one outdoor activity night per week, in which family members can take turns choosing outdoor activities. The possibilities are endless: you can arrange an adventurous game of nighttime hide and seek with flashlights, form teams and shoot some hoops at the park, or invest in bicycles for the whole family and go on weekly bike rides. Just don't forget to prioritize safety by making sure all riders wear a helmet, regardless of age or experience.
Smart Tips for Parents To Encourage Their Children to Play Sports and Stay Safe Make The Experience Educational
Even if your child isn't necessarily a huge fan of athletics, that doesn't mean they can't enjoy outdoor time. Visit the library with them to check out a book about nature, and take a walk through the woods identifying plants and animals you recognize. This will help spark their passion for science and how it relates to the circle of life and the great outdoors. Don't be surprised if, after a few walks, your child is eager to go back to the library and check out a new nature book!
Smart Tips for Parents To Encourage Their Children to Play Sports and Stay Safe Let Them Lead The Way
Finally, it's important to keep in mind during all outdoors time that your child is just that: a child, both in mind and at heart. They're bound to get naturally curious and want to meander off the path a bit. That's okay. Let them lead the way through woods, over hills, into creeks and through puddles, streams, and valleys. Let their adventurous souls and spirits lead the way, and their hearts are sure to follow. And don't give up! Once you spark your child's passion for the great outdoors, there's simply no going back.