How sport teaches teenagers to be independent
There are many benefits for teenagers participating in sport and after school fitness programs, and many of these benefits go beyond mere physical and mental health.
By staying active in a training program or team sport, your teenager can also develop valuable personal skills, such as independence. Learning independence from a teenage training program benefits a child long after their teenage years, too; it’s a life-long perk of participating in sport as a teen.
How does this happen? Here are three ways sport teach teenagers to be independent for the longterm.
1. Sport introduces you to a new social dynamic.
Sport introduce teenagers to a new social dynamic that they might not have experienced previously. Often, teenage training programs are less structured and less supervised than other interactions kids might have in just a school setting. This allows teens to independently work together and socialise, allowing them to develop bonds and establish connections with their friends in a natural way. Leaders emerge, as do followers, and teens learn how to interact with their peers and handle group conflicts without the immediate guidance of an adult.
2. Sport gives teenagers new responsibility.
If your teenager has yet to have their first job and they’re primarily just responsible for their schoolwork, then enrolling them in a sport or training program will give them a new responsibility that will potentially stretch and grow them. For example, their schoolwork may just require that they complete assignments and pay attention in class. A sport, however, can require them to work out and practice outside of meetups, eat correctly, get a healthy amount of sleep and take care of themselves in a host of ways. As teens learn they can meet these responsibilities, they can become more independent thinkers and decision makers.
3. Sport grows confidence.
As teenagers see themselves succeed on a team and within the confines of a sport, they’ll grow more confident. As they overcome hurdles in their active life, they’ll see that they can similarly overcome hurdles in other areas of their lives. This increased confidence leads to more independence, as suddenly being independent doesn’t seem so scary.