Columbus kids love to play!

We have seen tremendous growth in area children and young people participating in organized athletic competition and the resulting benefits will be many. Young people will learn to be part of something greater while also honing individual skills and interests. Character traits such as respect (for a coach and the refs), perseverance (when you start from ground zero, but realize you have potential), teamwork (it’s about more than you), and responsibility (work hard, show up, and care) are internalized more solidly when learned on the field or court of play. Increased physical activity in the age of Fortnite is an unqualified benefit, as is increased opportunity for socialization. Not least, our organized school teams will become more competitive because of youth play.

According to a poll conducted by NPR, in conjunction with the Robert Wood Johnson Foundation and the Harvard T.H. Chan School of Public Health, “Parents think that the organized way you participate in sports — the leadership and fellowship — is actually preparing people not only for the next game but for much broader roles in life,” says Harvard professor and health policy analyst Robert Blendon, who co-directed the poll. Read more about the findings of this poll:

Shown below, CUHS Head Boys Basketball Coach Jerry Smiley talks with Taylor Spear’s 6th grade youth basketball team about what it takes to move on and become a meaningful contributor at the junior high and high school levels. He told the boys that it’s about more than athleticism and skill; a student athlete must also be conscientious in class and motivated to study for exams, turn in assignments, and be respectful of teachers. He further said that a valued athlete also cares about his or her teammates and the school community and wants to contribute on and off the court. (click on photos to get a better view)

In the past year alone, 170 Columbus children and young people played soccer, 100 participated in youth basketball, and 35 regularly joined in Junior Golf days. Add this to the numerous kids who take to the mat for the Columbus Wrestling Club, enjoy fall days with Mini-Football, or spend summer nights on the softball and baseball diamonds in town, and you have activities of significant value to the entire community. Throw in the 30 or so local high school students who help with coaching, refereeing, field prep, record-keeping and scoreboard operation (and the resulting mentoring of the younger kids) and the 100-plus parents who serve as coaches, team parents, and snack-providers and it’s easy to see how valuable organized team sports are to a community.

According to psychologist Linda Escobar Olszewski, team sports are a win-win for teens because:

  1. Improved Physical Health
  2. Athletes Accelerate in Academics
  3. Mental Health Benefits
  4. Learning that nothing worthwhile in life comes easily

Read her complete article in Psychology Today:

Dr. Jim Taylor explores the notion of instilling values in young athletes. He states, “When you think of sports, values are probably not the first thing that comes to mind. Yet, whether you’re aware of it or not, the values that you instill in your children as part of their sports experiences have an immense impact on every aspect of their athletic lives as well as their life in general in the short term and well into the future. The values you convey to your young athletes act as the lens through which they view the entirety of their sports participation. As a consequence, you should be thoughtful, deliberate, and proactive in instilling in your children the values that you believe will lead them to a fulfilling and enjoyable sports experience, a positive and healthy lifelong relationship with sports, and a successful, happy, and value-driven life.”

Read his full article here:

Also from Dr. Taylor:

This article gives his top four reasons why kids should play sports:

  1. Commitment
  2. Resilience
  3. Off the Streets (and the iPhones)
  4. Family Time

Join in the fun! Next time an opportunity comes up to participate, jump in; the rewards will be amazing!