Across our nation and around the world, many adults are wondering – how is the next generation going to run the world in coming decades? Will the youth of today have effective leadership skills? Will they know how to problem solve, or have the grit to stick with a goal, even when it seems unachievable?
Youth sports play a huge role in these areas, and will continue to help develop these type of character traits and skills, giving kids an effective foundation for future development. While running a company or holding a government position isn’t a “game”, the principles behind it working in any business can likely be found in friendly competition.
How Youth Sports Can Position a Child for Future Success
The Social Aspect
In order to achieve anything as a leader, getting along with people is essential. Sports takes this a few steps further and uses instinctual psychology to win. Consider that when a child plays on a sports team, they have to learn how to interact with fellow teammates to accomplish scoring.
This also includes beating an opponent, in a civilized way. Teaching ethical youth sports is important because it enhances how kids go about communicating effectively with not only a teammate, but also an opponent.
These are skills they can use for life while still gaining the benefits of physical activity for their health.
Being a good leader may require doing volunteer work to get started in life. Recent reports show that those who participated in youth sports were more apt to do volunteer work and give to charities. This report indicates the volunteerism trait continued more than 50 years after playing sports as a student. Youth sports shows how you have to work as a team to achieve a positive outcome, an important component of many volunteer opportunities.
Taking Risks & Making Decisions
Leaders in challenging positions often have to take a few risks to make an effective decision. Sports provide opportunities for a young athlete to become a team captain and take on complicated strategies to make a winning play.
Of course, this is going to involve team opinion to weigh the options. Situations involving a risky play to win a game provide kids with a scenario they’ll encounter in the working world later in life. As we’ve sometimes seen in sports, having the courage to go for it all in the final quarter can bring surprising wins.
Developing Friendly Competition
To become an effective leader, the future generation has to realize competition is at every turn. Sports help kids remove any fear of competition they may have. They need to learn how to master competitiveness in order to get jobs and move up in their careers.
For leadership positions, competition is often more fierce, particularly when moving into the role of a leader in the first place. Allowing athletes the opportunity to work their way up to becoming a team leader can play a role in this development as well.
A student is going to learn quickly that in order to succeed at a sport, they need discipline and self-understanding. A coach should teach an athlete the discipline needed to achieve a certain skill. But a great coach will teach an athlete discipline to the point that they can recognize their own strengths and weaknesses, then put their nose to the grind until they perfect those weaknesses.
Kids cannot become future leaders without seeing what their own skills are and developing them through hard work and practice. And seeing their fellow teammates doing the same can inspire them to become more motivated to reach the top.