It's no secret that participating in sports can have a positive effect on kids' self-esteem. But as a parent, you might be wondering how you can encourage your child to get involved in sports and reap the benefits of a healthy self-image. Here are some tips to get you started.

Parents should be supportive of their children's sports endeavors.

Parents should be a cornerstone in their children’s pursuit of sports. They should attend as many games and matches as possible to show support and pride, even if the activity itself isn’t necessarily interesting. Additionally, they can provide helpful advice before or after practices and can even offer incentive rewards for accomplishments. Parents who push too much or betray disappointment may cause their child to decide that the activity is not worth it or will inhibit them from engaging with it at all. Thus, providing an educational and balanced approach to their development is optimal. Though results may vary, there are long-term effects that can take place from supporting a sport of choice; such as team building, satisfaction from accomplishment, health benefits, increased self-esteem and knowledge from others have become healthier examples of why such activities are important for everyone. There will be discouraging moments along the way but having a supportive family environment helps buffer those feelings in an inoculating approach until self-confidence can be developed on its own without parental input over time. Ultimately the parents job should be formed around encouraging and helping when asked but allowing the individual choice to experience their sports voyage alone.

Children should be encouraged to try different sports and activities.

It's important to foster creativity and diversity in children, and that includes having them explore different sports and activities. There are so many great options out there for growing minds - from rock climbing, to swimming, to dance - it’s important to get our children trying out a variety of physical hobbies and activities. Not only does this help develop their coordination but it also encourages them to think outside the box in terms of what they can do with their bodies! And on top of all these perks, creating a family ritual around physical activity is fantastic for strengthening your bond as parents and kids learn together – make a Saturday game day where everyone has to try something new - you never know what fun you'll have! So encourage your kids to give new sports and activities a go – the benefits are endless!

Participation in sports can help teach children about goal setting and working hard to achieve those goals.

Participating in sports can play an important role in teaching children about goal setting and hard work to achieve those goals. Being part of a team helps children build on skills such as communication and collaboration, bringing the opportunity to learn life lessons about leadership and learning how to win and lose gracefully. While having fun playing, children develop essential skills including dedication, commitment, motivation, and discipline that can help them reach their goals both inside and outside the sports arena. When they set an attainable goal, they can feel the satisfaction of accomplishing something when they see it through. It's also an opportunity to recognize that failure is part of life and progress comes with continued effort. With an increasing emphasis on physical activity among children, there’s never been a better time to involve your kids in organized sports with purposeful instructional guidance from supportive adults – so they have fun while learning enduring values with lasting impact!

Sports can also help children learn about teamwork and how to be a good sport, whether they win or lose.

Sports can teach kids important life lessons such as teamwork and sportsmanship. Teamwork is important in many areas of life, so teaching kids the value of working together to reach a common goal is critical. As well, being a good sport is also an invaluable lesson that sports can help teach children. Learning how to lose graciously and with dignity while still giving their best effort and performance can be even more impactful than winning when it comes to true character development. Sports can offer families the opportunity to bond through cheering for each other, sharing stories, and recalling experiences from their own lives. Watching our children learn these skills through sports can be truly inspiring for us as parents! For more about good sportsmanship, click here.

Parents should encourage their children to have fun with whatever activity they're participating in, and not take things too seriously.

It's important for parents to remember that their children's activities should ultimately be about having fun. Too often, we can become obsessed with teaching kids to be the best or win and forget about the joy of participation. Instead, encourage your child to embrace their activity as an enjoyable opportunity to learn, explore and discover new talents. Remind them that it's okay to make mistakes and take risks, because those moments contribute to a richer experience overall and help build character. Instill the idea that there is no real "loser" unless they are not striving hard enough or giving their best effort. And finally - celebrate small successes together! Help your children develop lasting memories of laughter, close connection with peers and satisfaction with achieving even small goals. When approached in this way, activities can become much more than a physical task; they can provide opportunities for growth and development in many areas of life! If you want to learn more about the problems of taking sports for your kids too seriously, check out Live Like Sam.


Sports can teach kids a lot more than just how to be physically active – they can also help them learn about goal setting, teamwork, and perseverance. And when parents support their children’s participation in sports, it sends a strong message that they care about their child’s health and wellbeing. If you want to learn more about how you can support your child’s healthy development through sport and physical activity, join the YFN academy today!


Anzilotti, Amy W. "Sportsmanship." Nemours, 2021.

Live Like Sam. "Taking Youth Sports Too Seriously." Live Like Sam, 23 Oct. 2019,

Robinson, Catherine D. "10 Best Sports for Kids Under 15." Kidztopros. 13, Oct. 2021,