Is Sports Participation Worth It From a Parent’s Point of View?

Do you remember that moment when you first considered enrolling your child in sports?

You probably smiled as you envisioned yourself cheering him on. It’s possible you even started counting the days til the season started, knowing that it would be a great adventure of learning and fun.

But now you’re ¾ of the way through the season and can’t wait for it to be finished. You certainly underestimated the amount of stress involved in getting him to and from practice, and the time-eating-travel for “away” games wasn’t even on your radar.

If you’re beginning to wonder whether sports participation is worth all the hassle, then this quick-read—we know you're running short on time— is for you.

While it’s true that you may have been UNPREPARED for:

  • Financial costs
  • Emotional strains
  • Travel commitments
  • Loss of free-time
  • Logistical challenges
Here are 3 LASTING benefits that might just outweigh the TEMPORARY inconveniences.
1) You’ll Have a Learning Laboratory

Every parent wants to raise kids to:

  • Understand the value of working hard
  • Know how to get along well with others
  • Recognize that perseverance pays off
  • Perceive that winning isn’t everything
  • Respect authority

Participating on a team provides learning moments for all of these qualities—and more.

The team environment is similar to having your very own laboratory where your child gets to test, try, and discover these truths every day.

As the parent, you have a whole season of teaching moments. Thanks to all the interactions that come with being on a team, you will have many character-building scenarios to lead your athlete through.

Exploring feelings, discussing reactions, and learning new concepts is all part of the testing room that the sports platform provides.

2) You’ll Be Reminded To Sit Back and Enjoy 

Kids grow up fast—so fast that by the time you remember to savor each moment, it’s already passed.

Sporting events are perfect reminders to sit back and enjoy watching your child execute the skills she’s been working on.

You might be tempted to attend your child’s competitions with an analytical, or even a critical eye. But this takes the enjoyment out of the moment.

Begin with the assumption that your child is doing her very best for that day, and it will be easy to marvel at her progress. This is especially true when you realize you probably can’t execute those same skills half as well.

Appreciate what you’re witnessing and everybody wins.

For parents that approach games with the right mindset, it can be a time that is exciting and fun. Competitions provide lively entertainment and a social outlet that is often lacking.

And when you consider that many families come back season after season for several years, there are opportunities to forge strong friendships, have impactful conversations, and be an encouragement to another mom or dad.

3) You’ll Bond Over Challenges and Triumphs 

Great stories come out of competitive events.

We all can remember a time when the underdog pulled off a surprising victory. Or when a challenging moment was overcome, and a team hero emerged.

Highs and lows come in every sports season—for individuals and teams. And it’s in the highest-highs and lowest-lows that engaged and supportive parents can really bond with their kids.

It’s in this space that memories are made and relationships are strengthened.

Perspective Is Everything

Just like everywhere else in life, there will be good days and bad days in your youth sports journey. Choose to stay focused on the benefits that have life-long value. Sports participation will give you:

  • An environment that provides many learning moments
  • A reason to step back and enjoy your child’s growth
  • A place where strong bonds can form and memories are made

What’s your point of view? Whether you have 10 days or 10 weeks left of the season you get to choose how you’ll finish.

Sport Family Coach at

Founder of Growing Champions for Life, David helps sports parents and coaches incorporate positivity and persistence into their communication with the young athletes who count on their encouragement and guidance. An eight-time national water skiing champion, five-time national record holder in water ski jumping, former World Championship U.S. Water Ski Team coach, and proud professional sports parent, he understands first-hand the challenges and rewards of competition. His extensive experience as a corporate leadership coach for Nextel, Sprint, Allstate, Balfour Beatty, The Villages and other companies provides David with unique insight into the skills needed to excel in sports, business and life. He brings an athlete's discipline, a coach's inspiration, and a parent's practical experience to his mission to grow not just champion young athletes, but holistically well-rounded individuals equipped for lifelong excellence.

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