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3 Critical Effects of Sports when Building a Child’s Self-Esteem

I have worked in the Vancouver School Board for 6 years, and have coached kids for nearly 20 years. The biggest part of my job as an educator and role model is ensuring that your kids come out from my classes and basketball sessions a better person than when they entered. A lot of my work is building self-esteem in children since the foundation for strong self-esteem in teenagers and adults is built from ages 6-11. First off, I want to define how positive self-esteem grows. It occurs when someone individually succeeds, is praised, or experiences love from another. Otherwise, self-esteem is lowered by failure, harsh criticism, and rejection. As an educator, coach, and parent, I take self-esteem very seriously! I love sports for many reasons, and the many ways it affects a child’s self-esteem positively to grow into independent and confident teenagers and adults. I am a big fan of the 'eye-test' when it comes to these things, but I dug a little deeper and found these 3 proven positive effects that sports has on children's self-esteems.

  • Development of expertise in sporting skills can lead to a sense of personal effectiveness and feelings of autonomy.

The sheer act of practicing and executing a skill that couldn’t have been done previously is a monumental feeling that instills confidence in anyone. Something as simple as crossing a ball over can boost those feelings of, “I did this!”

  • Physical activities have a powerful role in strengthening physical self-worth.

Having access to sports and positive coaching professionals will grow a child's physical self-worth, which will also lead to a more positive perception of oneself, especially during childhood and early adolescence.

  • Sports teams offer social acceptance and a sense of belonging that is necessary to build a strong self-esteem for children.

Social connectedness is a fundamental factor in affecting children’s self-esteem, luckily in sports (and more specifically, the basketball community) we are a family. I always want our ballers to feel a part of something bigger than basketball, and always feel safe with their peers when they come for our sessions. It is important to mention that sports and physical activity positively affect these areas of a child, but only when their experiences are positive. This is why I do not tolerate teasing or bullying in my classes, if we are going to work as a team and grow strong together then I make sure everyone understands that we need to support each other. All our coaches are trained in this, too! At RainCity, we take pride in being positive role models in the lives of the kids that come to us and how we ensure everyone leaves our sessions a little more confident, a little more proud, and with a higher self-esteem.

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