Sports: Off the Field.

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"Sports do not build character. They reveal it" (John Wooden, member of the Basketball Hall of Fame). This simple seven word quote explains exactly what many coaches and athletes all over the world at any level already know. But sports have more than just the benefit of discovering one-self. Many children enroll in various team sports each year and continue to do so, and for good reasons. Not only is being physically active beneficial for children in the present and in the future, but playing team sports instills lifelong friendships and communication skills as well as a better sense of self-worth and independence.

First of all, physical activity in general is very beneficial to kids of all ages. From a young age, kids learn to make healthy eating choices that will improve their performance and overall health. By eating the right foods, children reduce the risk of obesity and heart disease by more then half, compared to children who do not participate in sports. These children will continue to use these eating habits as they grow older also reducing the risk of osteoporosis and other health issues. Also, team sports can help kids who are ill respond very well to sports because it's a way for them to make personal gains and receive encouragement from their teammates. Through their "interaction with peers, positive feedback from coaches and teammates, and having an opportunity to appreciate what you can do with your body," children who are sick are motivated to break through their barriers. A competitive athlete knows that sustenance is a big part of sports, as well as making them healthier overall.

Second of all, making friends can be hard to do outside of the classroom when one is timid or does not have great communication skills can be hard to do. By playing on a team, kids have to opportunity to meet other kids with the same interests as they do making it a lot easier to have conversations. According to Dr. Micheli, director of Sports Medicine...
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