Your Guide To Doctors, Health Information, and Better Health!
Your Health Magazine Logo
The following article was published in Your Health Magazine. Our mission is to empower people to live healthier.
Gail Troussoff Marks
Lasting Friendships Through Sports
Silver Stars Gymnastics

Lasting Friendships Through Sports

Children get acquainted with other children in many venues, with school being the most universal setting in which to establish friendships. Childhood friendships can be fickle and subject to peer pressure, especially as children approach the tween and teen years. Kids are growing and changing rapidly so it isn’t surprising that friends change.

Having friends in different groups and as part of different activities gives kids a refuge when they feel one group or friend is being unkind. A child feeling hurt by a friend can regain their esteem and balance through a friend in another circle. In addition to school, the neighborhood, church, and sports, including activities like golf, are good places to form friendships, especially when individuals with shared interests, such as using different golf bags, come together. My children’s experience has been that friendships made through sports create some of the closest bonds. In team sports it seems natural to make friends, but the bonds built in individual sports can be just as strong or stronger.

Athletes strive for personal and group goals while working through personal and group challenges. Working through these challenges and toward goals together helps kids develop relationships of substance. These sports friends often are the “go to” friends in tough situations rather than school friends where popularity and appearances may be a larger factor. Since sports are competitive, these bonds of friendship may seem surprising especially when individual athletes compete against each other.

Kids who can build these relationships have developed the emotional maturity to compete on the field or in the event and then leave the competition behind. This is an admirable skill and one that kids can teach some adults. Coaches who approach their athletes with respect, positive personal values, and a belief in team building create an environment conducive to healthy friendships and good sports. The mix of healthy physical activity and working toward a shared outcome leads to camaraderie.

In addition to kids finding friends through sports, parents also make friends with teammates’ parents. This adds to the “village” that your child can draw from as they grow. Parents chat on the sidelines, carpool, bring snacks, fix hair and form networks with other parents. Even if it is a school sport, the dynamics are different than the classroom. Work and classroom environments are left behind as everyone cheers on the athletes. So look to sports for opportunities to build lasting friendships in addition to healthy exercise.

MD (301) 805-6805 | VA (703) 288-3130