A recent study by the Public Library of Science says that there is a connection between participation in team sports and mental health difficulties among US children and adolescents. The study is intended to show that team sports do have a positive impact on children’s mental health. The study was conducted using a sample of 11,235 children and teens aged 9-13.
Anne Orzechowski says that many adults may wonder when their child should start group sports or activities, but having your kid play sports isn’t about making them a major leaguer, but just having them interact with peers at a young age.
During the COVID-19 pandemic, team sports were put on hold to reduce the spread and studies show that there was a strong connection between social isolation and anxiety and depression during that time frame. Even before the pandemic, studies had shown that camaraderie was beneficial for children to grow and develop. Team sports can also teach children how to have a routine and gives them something other than school to participate in. The biggest step? Orzechowski says to find something your child wants to do.
If you sign up your child and he begins to lose interest, Orzechowski recommends talking to your child to find out what is going on. Some new activities may be scary for young children.
Orzechowski does not recommend pulling your child from the activity right away if they don’t like it, she does say that if your child does seem uninterested to maybe try something different. As long as you keep your child involved and active, it definitely helps. It does not have to be a sport.
If your child shows signs of anxiety or depression, make an appointment with your child’s pediatrician for guidance.