The Benefits of Competitive Sports for Children

Exercise is essential for everyone, especially for children’s growth and development. It allows children to strengthen their muscles, bones, lungs and heart, which leads to improved balance, coordination, flexibility and posture.

As much as we want to watch our children excel, competitive sports are not just about winning; taking part in sports teaches children several important skills.


Competitive sports have many rules about what you can and can’t do. Children must understand and play by them. Learning the rules and teaching fair play is a valuable lesson from which every child can benefit. Having respect for the rules and the way the sport works is not only great during competitive sports but also in life and school, as it helps them to understand the value of having rules in everyday life. This can be great for children who struggle with behavioural difficulties. 

As well as having respect for rules, it is also crucial to respect others who are competing, whether they are on your team or not. By doing this, it creates a pleasant atmosphere and environment to compete in. This allows children to use this method outside of their sport by teaching them to respect and support others, leading to less bullying. 

Physical Development

As children grow, regular sports activities are brilliant for their physical development. There are many things that are essential for children’s physical development, including:

  • Burning calories 
  • Engaging in cardiovascular exercise 
  • Building healthy muscles

In a fun and safe environment, children can become healthier and stronger through participating in regular exercise. 

A student playing football

Social Skills

Competitive sports can be a great way to make friends, especially as a child. For some children, it can be easier to make friends than for others. Building friendships prevents loneliness and isolation, which boosts happiness. 

Everyone has a part to play in team sports, which can help children who may find it hard to make friends, as they can socialise with others who share the same hobbies and passions. 

Building these friendships teaches social skills such as being kind, caring and listening to others which can all be learned by participating in sports activities.


For many children who love sports and have a passion for one sport in particular, participating in competitions can be a brilliant way to feel a sense of pride in their achievements and grow in confidence. 

Sports can also help boost children’s confidence tremendously by receiving praise from their teammates and coaches when they have achieved their goals. 


Learning and understanding teamwork from a young age can be a great skill to have throughout the rest of your life. For example, one of the key skills many employers look for when hiring a new staff member for a job is how well they can work in a team. 

Through competitive sports, children can learn what it means to work as a team and show support and encouragement to others. For some children, leading a team or becoming the captain of a team can be an excellent way to explore and discover their leadership qualities by learning to manage a team and be part of one.

Kids playing netball

Learning To Lose

Not everything in life can always be perfect; the same applies to sports. No matter how good your child is at a sport, there will be a time when they experience losing when taking part in competitions. Sports can help children understand that although losing can be deflating, it is okay, and it allows us to learn from our mistakes and improve our skills in a safe and supportive environment. 

Learning this skill at a young age allows your child to understand how to control their emotions, which can be used in everyday situations. Teaching children to congratulate the winners and not take the loss as a personal failure is very important in competitive sports.

Sports Encouragement At St Peter’s Prep

Here at our Independent primary school, we encourage our students to keep energised and have fun by participating in sports. Many of the children enjoy sport and take part, locally and at county level, following in the footsteps of former St Peter’s pupil and olympian, Ben Rhodes. 

At St Peter’s, we believe that sport is for all and encourage our pupils from Nursery to Year 8 to join in on the sporting fun and learn new skills.

St Peter’s is an excellent place for your child to develop their love for sports!

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