4 Powerful Benefits of Participating In Sports for Kids with Special-Needs

In this article, we will explore how kids with special-needs can reap the physical, mental, and emotional benefits from participating in sports.

In this article, we will explore how kids with special needs can reap the physical, mental, and emotional benefits from participating in sports.

Each new year, many parents resolve to focus anew on increasing not only their physical activity levels but also those of their kids. Parents of kids with special-needs often turn to sports as a source of healthy physical activity.

In this article, we will explore how kids with special-needs can reap the physical, mental, and emotional benefits from participating in sports.

Physical Benefits of Sports

Regular physical activity is vital to our body’s wellbeing.  Unfortunately, many children, and particularly children with special-needs, are not getting enough of it on a regular basis.

Sports are a perfect way to make physical activity fun and enjoyable. When kids look forward to playing a sport, and they attend regular practices and games, they reap all the benefits of physical activity while also having a great time. With an abundance of a different standard, unified, and adaptive sports options available, there is a sport that fits each child’s abilities and preferences.

On a physical level, participating in sports helps to improve kids’ muscle tone, hand-eye coordination, cardiovascular stamina, muscle and joint flexibility, and gross/fine motor skills.

These improvements can make everyday activities like bending over to put on shoes, walking, and holding a pencil or glass easier.

Mental Benefits of Sports

Sporting activities provide more than just the obvious physical benefits. They also promote mental strength and dexterity. Our kids’ brains are challenged and stimulated by learning and memorizing the rules of a sport. They practice problem solving, anticipation, and strategy skills.

When presented with new situations, the neural pathways and synapses in our kids’ brains activate to process the inputs. These inputs help to maintain and perhaps enhance brain function, focus, memory, and knowledge retention. These benefits have the potential to translate into gains in school and everyday functioning.

Emotional Benefits of Sports

All humans, even introverts, require a certain amount of social interaction and stimulation. Navigating situations with others builds our interpersonal skills and ability to function in society. For children with special-needs, participating in sports affords them with a safe, structured way to practice these interactions and build confidence.

Competence helps to build confidence. As kids practice and work with a coach to develop their skills in a sport, their level of competence naturally increases over time. They begin to excel at the sport and when that happens, their confidence skyrockets. Kids begin to view themselves in a new, positive light and to see the value of working hard to achieve success not only in sports but in life.

Overall Life Benefits of Sports

At Lions United, we embrace the positive life-altering transformation that can occur through sports. This strengthening of the body, mind, and spirit is what we seek for all our special population athletes. We support their needs in the areas of weight loss, weight gain, bodybuilding, powerlifting, sports training, nutrition coaching and more.

Adaptive athletes like Dan Boyd credit “Coach Andy” and his team with helping them to achieve more than they ever dreamed possible not only in athletics but in life. For them, the benefits of participating in sports have encompassed their entire lives and their futures.

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In this article, we will explore how kids with special needs can reap the physical, mental, and emotional benefits from participating in sports.
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