We are living in a time where the digital realm plugs us in, instantly, into the world around us. Where social interactions know no borders or distance, but have also become impersonal and artificial at times. Schools are cutting physical education programs left and right, and the time spent outdoors or consumed in a physical activity that we remember from our youth, is being replaced with technology-fueled, solitary, indoor entertainment.
We want to take a moment to step away from head protection in youth sports today, to discuss why we believe youth sports are necessary and relevant for our children — especially in this day in age.
Little League Builds Community
When we were younger, it was not hard to get us to get out the door and roam around the neighborhood with kids our age. Coming inside was a mandatory occasion and usually only occurred when a meal was sitting on the table. In those days, when digital opportunities were limited or scarce, it was not hard to reach out to your community and build relationships and lifelong ties over common interests like youth sports.
Today, we see these real and tangible relationships diminishing as more and more youth opt for time spent indoors and plugged in, rather than building friendships outdoors and on the field. Little League does not discriminate by talent, race or gender. It does not pursue competition at the sacrifice of teamwork. When you dilute the complexities of our world today into the raw of joy of kids playing a game they love with one another, you see that little league builds community in an authentic and natural way. Lifelong friendships are formed when children participate in little league and communities come together.
Little League Keeps Kids Active
You’ve probably seen the advertisements across sport networks, sponsored and promoted by famous professional athletes; adolescents are supposed to get 60-minutes of play a day. But, is that happening? According to the CDC, in 2013, only 27.1% of high school students surveyed had participated in at least 60 minutes per day of physical activity, and just 29% attended physical education class daily. And we aren’t saying this is just our country’s problem. In fact, according to the World Health Organization, globally, 81% of adolescents aged 11-17 years were insufficiently physically active in 2010.
Little League keeps kids active. When kids are enrolled in youth sports, they are committed and responsible for their part in the team’s development and success. From practices with the team, to practice at home and performance on game day, involvement in a team sport or little league program makes achieving that 60-minutes of daily active play easier to manage.
Little League Teaches Life Lessons
Baseball, like many sports, is a team sport. The talent may vary across the roster, but everyone contributes to a team’s success. Learning the value and meaning of teamwork and how individual effort contributes to a bigger picture are life skills that need to be developed and nurtured early on. Teamwork is not just being able to work well with others, but to enjoy working with others, to delight in their success, as well as your own. Little League also teaches kids that it is okay to take a step back and just have fun. To push competition and individual merit to the backburner and realize that a game is a game, and those are meant to be fun.
The experiences had and skills developed in Little League will travel with every player into their adult life; helping them in work and life situations that arise. In a world where more expectations and pressures are put on children, as well as adults, where social interactions are becoming more impersonal and indirect, Little League provides that sanctuary for learning those important life lessons while having fun.
A Case for Little League
We know there are challenges to be faced by every family living in this increasingly complex world, where free time is scarce and time in general is scheduled down to the minute. However, a case for little league has to be made; the impact it has on youth relationships, activity levels and the building of lifelong skillsets is invaluable and can not be lost. Don’t you agree?
Do you already have kids signed up and active in Little League and/or other youth sport leagues? Discover what exactly Sport Shieldz is and how we are aiding in head protection in youth sports.