5 Reasons Teenage Girls Should Play Sports
Young people gain many benefits from participating in sports, and it is no wonder many parents choose to enroll their children in such activities. Sports lead to positive impacts on not just overall physical health but also on social and psychological development. However, research shows that girls are less likely to participate in sports than boys and that they are more likely to drop out. A recent Canadian study shows that 1 in 3 girls drop out of sports by their late teens. This rate is more than 3 times higher than boys of the same age and it can be prevented when girls are supported by their family, friends, and coaches.
Enrolling girls in sport and ensuring that they play as teens can make a good difference in their overall lifestyle and wellness. Here are five reasons why teenage girls should start and continue to play sports:
1. Sports has tons of health benefits
Sports participation, even for young people, can reduce the risk for heart disease and diabetes. Perhaps more importantly for an adolescent girl is that being athletic can make her monthly period easier to cope with; they can be lighter, more regular, and involve less cramping discomfort than inactive girls.
2. Playing sports builds self-confidence
Not only is playing sports healthy, but it also builds self-confidence in teens. Through sports, they have learned that they can accomplish new skills, work successfully with others and that losses are not always setbacks. These factors may be why a study in Health Education Research found that adolescents who participate in sports clubs have better social adjustment, are less anxious, and generally feel happier about their lives, all signals of self-confidence.
3. Sports teach teamwork skills and provide social networks
Being part of a team (even individual sports have teams!) helps to develop many life skills. It teaches how to cooperate, be less selfish, and listen to others. Moreover, girls who are on sports teams have a chance to make new friends and build new social networks that are critical during their teenage years.
4. Joining a team can help fight depression
The growth in teenage depression is alarming, but sports can help to fend off this frightening trend. Researchers in LA have published results that sports participation can counteract difficult childhood experiences, while a group in Canada found it helped to reduce and manage symptoms of depression and anxiety. There is also a proven association of physical activity decreasing stress levels which is helpful even to teenage girls who are not predisposed to these conditions.
5. Playing sports can improve academic success
Playing sports improves the organization skills and time management abilities of girls. They learn to schedule and prioritize schoolwork, sports practices, and friendships and often focus on getting good grades so they can to stay on their sports team. With all this in the background, it can even make her more likely to go to university.
Sport gives girls the opportunity to be part of a team, to work together, to push themselves and each other, and to dream boldly and achieve success together. Consider enrolling your daughter in a sports club in Abu Dhabi or wherever you live, and encourage her to continue participating through these critical teenage years.