I don’t know how my mom and dad did it. I was the oldest of five kids. We all played sports. I played regular season and tournament baseball during all my years growing up, and in various seasons I also played soccer, football, and basketball (which I was no good at). My two brothers and two sisters played sports as well. My dad coached our baseball teams, and my mom kept score for more games than I can count.
Today, I am the glad dad of five kids—three boys and two girls, just like the family I grew up in. Our three sons play baseball on regular season, all-star, and select teams. Our oldest daughter is an all-state sprinter. And our youngest daughter is the only one who does not play a sport as she’s more the vocal-lessons, musical type. This means that springtime is a crazy time as we shuttle kids around, cheering for them and trying to figure out when the rained-out games will be replayed and how we can make it all work.
Recently, while sitting at yet another event and praising God that I get to be a dad and have healthy kids, it dawned on me that there are at least seven reasons why sports are good for kids. 1. They put down technology. Kids need more exercise and less time eating junk food, drinking pop, and sitting down playing video games, surfing the Internet, or watching television.
2. They learn to submit to authority. Having a coach who you have to obey is a good life lesson that prepares a child to submit to authority at school, work, and church. Kids who do not respect authority are destined for misery.
3. They learn to work hard. In sports, you have to learn to try your best and persevere through difficult circumstances. This helps build character, fortitude, and the kind of stick-to-itiveness that life requires if you want to succeed at anything from marriage to career.
4. They learn to play by the rules. One of the first things you learn in any sport is the rules. Once you know the rules, you have to learn to play by them or be penalized by those enforcing them. People who never learn to play by the rules make bad believers and good inmates.
5. They learn to be on a team. Few activities force a child to work things out with others, think about someone other than themselves, and be part of something bigger than themselves. Being on a team encourages kids to mature in all of these areas. Good teammates learn lessons about being good