15 reasons why your sacrifice as a sports parent is worth it

By Janis Meredith | Posted 7/24/2017

Youth sports can take a lot out of you as a sports parent: high costs, time demands, emotional energy–you make big sacrifices for your young athletes and may wonder if the effort is really worth it, particularly if it doesn’t earn your child a full scholarship to college.

Let’s just forget the college scholarship for a few minutes and focus on the now. If you’ve ever doubted that your sacrifice was really worth it, I’d like to put a stop to those doubts once and for all. The list of benefits of youth sports is even longer than I’d thought.

A 2012 report called True Sport Report , put out by the U.S. Anti-Doping Agency, cites a long list of advantages for playing sports. Here are a few from the 106-page report:


  1. Better classroom performance
  2. Greater personal confidence and self-esteem
  3. Stronger peer relationships
  4. More restraint in avoiding risky behavior
  5. More academically oriented friends
  6. More likely to make friends, including those of different races
  7. Greater family attachment and more frequent interactions with parents
  8. Greater connections with school—that is, greater attachment and support from adults
  9. Exercise improves moods and alleviates many forms of depression
  10. Girls and young women engaged in sports are less likely to be overweight or obese, depressed, smoke, use illicit drugs, or have unwanted teen pregnancies
  11. Better able to acquire emotional control, learn the value of teamwork, and exhibit initiative
  12. Women who played sports in high school were 73% more likely to earn a college degree within six years of graduating high school than those who did not play (based on a 2007 study)
  13. Greater involvement in volunteer work
  14. Fights childhood obesity
  15. Children who are physically active are more likely to stay active as teens and adults

It’s evident from this list that your sacrifice of time, money, and energy is well worth it. Do your best to provide opportunities and encourage your kids to play as long as possible!

Janis B. Meredith is a sportsparenting blogger, podcaster, and life coach. She provides resources to help parents give their children a positive and growing youth sports experience. Her book 11 Habits for Happy & Positive Sports Parents is available on Amazon.