There is an abundance of research that tells us how beneficial sport participation is for young athletes. Parents and coaches often place expectations on their athletes to become the next Sidney Crosby or Serena Williams. And while some might "make it" some day the reality is most young athletes will not continue beyond high school athletics. I think sometimes there's a thought of "well then why are they working so hard at a sport if they won't become a pro?"
The answer is simple and impactful. Because they are learning about life. They are learning to handle failure, rejection, differences, overcoming adversity, and the list goes on and on. All while maintaining good physical health.
Karate is an excellent example of this. Evie's Sensei at the dojo discusses with the class a weekly lesson. He talks about work ethic, how you present yourself, to understanding and developing friendships. I love listening to him talk to the kids and hearing their answers to his questions. Children are so aware and much more observant than any adult gives them credit for.
They recently talked about personality and how it shines through even if you aren't at your best. They discussed that if they are sad or mad how would they still present themselves and how would others perceive them. This is incredibly significant in life to simply be employable.
This is what youth sports has to offer. This is why it's important to be supportive and invested, even if your child may not be the next Mia Hamm.