Ok I’m gonna admit something that may come as a shock to some of you. I’m not into sports. I never really have been. I played volleyball and basketball in highschool, but if you blinked you probably could have missed me. I was surrounded by people who were obsessed with sports. My dad, sister and brother were all successful athletes. I just never really cared that much about sports. I could have found a million other things I’d rather be doing! But then – I had children.
I have two boys, 11 and 9, and I absolutely LOVE watching them play sports! I quickly realized the importance of sports – and for so many reasons! I strongly encourage my kids to play sports for many reasons – and here are a few!
Organized sports allows children to learn physical skills in a relatively safe environment, with adults who are charged with maintaining the rules and safety of the participants. The American Academy of pediatrics states that “In contrast to unstructured or free play, participation in organized sports provides a greater opportunity to develop rules specifically designed for health and safety.” Sports also give children the opportunity to be physically active and develop a healthy lifestyle that supports their athletic endeavors. Physical activity as children can help lessen their risk of developing adult diseases such as diabetes and heart disease.
Children who participate in sports can learn social skills such as taking turns and teamwork. They can also learn about responsibility to a team and how everyone needs to do their part for the team to be successful. Through sports, children learn how to take direction from a coach and adapt to different situations. Also, through sports, children have the opportunity to make friends with other kids with similar physical interests.
Children who participate in sports can also reap emotional benefits when they are given positive sporting role models and experiences. From sports children “learn the value of practice and the challenge of competition,” and these are lessons that children can learn to apply to other non-sporting parts of their lives. Given the right examples, children can also use sports to create a healthy self-image and a positive view of their body.
It is the recommendation of the American Academy of Pediatrics that regular physical activity should be encouraged for all children, whether or not they participate in sports. Parents should watch that their children are continuing to have fun and make sure that they, as parents, are not pushing their child beyond his limitations. What is SUBWAY®Baseball DeSIGNS?SUBWAY® restaurants is a national sponsor of Little League Baseball. During the Little League World Series (Aug. 19 – 28th), SUBWAY®will hold an auction of more than 40 baseballs designed by Little Leaguers and signed by Celebrities and Athletes including: Katy Perry, actor Zac Efron, rock band Maroon 5, gold medal-winning Michael Phelps, pro football’s Drew Brees, baseball star Ryan Howard, basketball Rookie of the Year Blake Griffin, NASCAR driver Carl Edwards, tennis superstars Serena & Venus Williams, celebrity chef, Robert Irvine and Jared Fogle (“The Subway Guy”), among others. You can see all the baseballs here. Proceeds from the auction go to the Little League Urban Baseball Initiative program. What is the Little League Baseball Urban Initiative?The Urban Initiative is a component of Little League Baseball and Softball that is currently operating with more than 200 leagues in nearly 85 cities in the United States. It began in 1999 with programs in Los Angeles and Harlem, N.Y. and expanded to other cities in 2000. The program provides assistance packages for eligible leagues that aid the local volunteer group with equipment acquisition, capital improvement cash grants, field development and renovation, access to Little League Baseball and Softball Education and Training programs, advocacy, and networking. Mission: To make the benefits of the Little League program available to children within urban communities across the United States by identifying and then creating or renewing baseball and softball programs in these neighborhoods. What are the benefits of the Little League Baseball Urban Initiative?
- The Little League Urban Initiative is now operating with more than 200 leagues in nearly 85 cities in the United States.
- Through the 2009 Little League season, the Little League Urban Initiative has stimulated the participation of 3,901 teams, which equals out to approximately 51,000 players, and has participated in nearly thirty field renovation/development projects.
- At various times throughout the year, Little League provides a variety of clinics at its five regional centers and at Little League International in Williamsport. The clinic topics include instruction for managers, coaches, umpires and league administrators, with emphasis on safety, child protection, and parent orientation. Any volunteer involved with a local Urban Initiative league can attend any of the clinics at no charge and receive resource materials free or at a reduced cost.
- The Little League Urban Initiative has recently renovated fields used by Little League programs in Portland, Ore.; the Bronx, NY; Stockton, Calif.; and Richmond, Va.
Answer the question “What life lessons do kids learn from playing team sports?” for a chance to win a $500 gift certificate for sporting equipment for your child’s team.
Want to help more children stay active by playing team sports? Go to SUBWAY® Baseball DeSIGNS Auction onEbay. All proceeds go to the Little League Urban Initiative, which helps fund inner-city youth leagues and teams.
This is a sponsored conversation written by me on behalf of SUBWAY® Baseball DeSIGNS. The opinions and text are all mine. The $500 Gift Certificate Giveaway Contest runs from August 19 – 28, 2011. A random winner will be announced by September 1, 2011. Official Contest Rules.
Posted Tuesday, August 23rd, 2011 at 11:11am
Filed under Blog Frog