The Benefits of Participating in Athletics for Youth

Alex Ricker-Gilbert
2 min readApr 20, 2023

Participating in athletics has numerous benefits for youth, extending beyond physical health. Athletics can positively affect a child’s mental, emotional, and social development.
One significant advantage of sports is the opportunity for youth to develop social skills such as teamwork and leadership. These skills can help children become responsible citizens who respect others and their community.

Participation in sports can also help strengthen muscles and bones. By getting involved in sports early on, kids can develop strong muscles and bones essential for movement, balance, and coordination. Weight-bearing activities like walking, running, basketball, and soccer can help build bones by working against gravity. Research has shown that consistent participation in sports during youth can lead to better bone density by age 20 and help prevent osteoporosis later in life.

Sports can also help build self-esteem as children achieve goals, receive positive feedback from coaches and teammates, and develop a sense of accomplishment. This confidence can carry them through adulthood as they set goals and overcome challenges.

Participation in athletics can also help develop important life skills, including mental math, creative thinking, strategic decision-making, and attention to detail. However, early youth sport specialization, focusing intensively on one sport for an extended period, can have unfavorable effects on young people.

Finally, sports can help in building teamwork skills. Teamwork is essential in all aspects of life, from school and work to social and emotional connections. Youth sports provide a safe and supportive environment for children to develop these skills.

In conclusion, athletics offers youth numerous benefits beyond physical health. It can positively impact a child’s social, emotional, and mental development and help them become responsible and confident citizens.



Alex Ricker-Gilbert

Alex Ricker-Gilbert received his master's degree in sport management, athletics, and public administration in 2011 from West Chester University of Pennsylvania.