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Put Kids In Sports Now, They'll Benefit Later

MINNEAPOLIS (WCCO) -- Parenting experts said participation in sports can help make your child a more responsible and productive grown-up -- making it a good investment in their future.

Tina Feigal is a former school psychologist and a parenting coach.

"I think a lot of it is really subtle," Feigal said. "But that sense of belonging in your workplace, the sense of contributing and everybody pulling together in the same direction in the workplace. The sense of having the big picture, being there on time, and getting the job done. Those all come from being in sports."

She said being on a team and competing in sports helps build character.

"The compassion that comes from that is often really positive," Feigal said. "You are supporting your teammates on
the court, and they are supporting you on the court. That is a lifelong skill."

And when the going gets tough because of an injury or a bad play, they get a taste of how to overcome adversity.

"The ability to pay attention to a crisis and then move on and do your job a few minutes later -- who
hasn't encountered that in the workplace?" she said.

She said they're also learning time management as well as responsibility and accountability.

"Showing up after school for practice, being on a schedule, being there for games, loyalty to your coach," she said.

Teammates also develop a sense of belonging, which Feigal said is a basic human need.

Another benefit is children get exposure to people from different neighborhoods or cities, different ethnic backgrounds or religions, all from spending time with their teammates and players on competing teams.

One of the negatives is over-doing it, and having a tough time balancing family life.


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