kids on a soccer field

Advice from Kids: Why Should We Play Sports?

Want to have more fun while doing sports? Get tips from young athletes on topics like motivation, how to fuel your body like a pro and the best reasons to stay active on a daily basis.

When it comes to sports, adults often seek advice from other adults. However, people of all ages could benefit from following the lead of younger individuals, who often find more joy in playing sports, progress more quickly, and form more friendships along the way. Interested in discovering their secrets? Read the top tips from our experts aged 5 to 18.

little girl smiling while hiking

The tops reasons to engage in sports

Why do people play sports? There are plenty of good reasons to pick up an active hobby—from taking care of your body to boosting your mood and getting out of the house. We asked our young athletes for their top 3 reasons to play sports:

First, it's really good exercise. Second, sometimes it can be really fun! And third...I don't know.” - Iris, 8

It’s really good for your physical and mental health, you can make a lot of friends that way, and it’s really fun.” - Hugo, 11

Well, it’s a fun activity, that’s one. To get stronger. And it helps your mind reset.” - Max, 11

Because I like it…one. Two… because it stretches your muscles. And three… because you move a lot!” - Juliette, 5

kids playing basketball outside

Fueling your performance

Eating properly before and after playing sports is important. Turns out, most young athletes know a thing or two about sports nutrition, and they’re pretty responsible, too. When asked what they would eat before and after a game as a professional athlete—only one person mentioned ice cream:

Probably fruits and vegetables… After a game, a healthy meal… maybe a salad and a side dish.” - Max, 11

I wouldn’t eat a lot before the game because I would get cramps, but maybe I would eat, like, a salad. And if I won, then after the game I think I would get something to celebrate, like maybe a popsicle?” - Marley, 9

I would probably have an apple or a granola bar - an easily accessible snack. They are fast, and also yummy.” - Kaya, 11

Before, I would eat an apple, some peppers…lots of vegetables. Afterwards, I would eat something a little more sweet because I deserve it. My favourite treat would be ice cream, or... an orange! That’s sweet too.” - Juliette, 5

Dressing for success

What do you wear when you play sports? It can be complicated, or really simple—it depends on the sport, obviously. Just remember to wear the right apparel and gear for each sport, as Juliette explains:

I wear a bodysuit and shoes for gymnastics. If I’m running, I would wear running shoes. And if I was swimming, I would wear a swimsuit, without shoes.” - Juliette, 5

For hockey I wear a helmet, neck guard, shin pads, skates, some people wear protective socks, elbow guards, shoulder pads, jock strap, um… some people wear mouth guards, well, a jersey and long socks over your shin pads, pants…” - Max, 11

I wear thin clothes, that are easy to move in. And clothes that you can breathe in.” - Marley, 9

little girl smiling in a bodysuit for gymnastics

I wear a bodysuit and shoes for gymnastics. If I’m running, I would wear running shoes. And if I was swimming, I would wear a swimsuit, without shoes.

Stay motivated

It isn’t always easy to stay motivated through the ups and downs. Kaya, Max, and Marley put on their coach hats and gave us some great advice on how to keep pushing and progressing while keeping sight of what’s most important—having a good time.

If I were a coach, I would tell my team to always know that they are doing their best, no matter what other people tell them. They should know that they are great.” - Kaya, 11

Just keep going, it’s just a game for fun. The real thing is to have fun. No pressure.” - Max, 11

I would tell them, well, to try their best and no matter if they win or lose, they tried their best so get out there and HAVE SOME FUN!” - Marley, 9

girl sitting with her longboard

Sharing knowledge and progressing

No one is amazing at a sport their first time around. The goal is to do your best and keep practicing so that you improve every time.

You’ll have to practice a lot (laughs).” - Hugo, 11

I would tell other people to be patient when trying to be good at something, because giving up wouldn’t accomplish anything.” - Kaya, 11

Even when it’s hard, you have to keep going.” - Greta, 16

Plus, it helps if you have a coach or a teacher to steer you in the right direction. Sometimes the advice that helps you progress will be technical, like Max who remembers being being told to practice handling his hockey stick. And other times, it’s about having the right mindset, as was the case for Marley:

Well, in my karate class, my sensei (which is a karate teacher) told me to stay focused and listen; and that helped me get a lot better at karate because I understood what he was saying.” - Marley, 9

boy cycling and smiling

Sports and fun

For most kids, “because it’s fun” is a good enough reason to do something—and when it comes to sports, we could all take a page out of their book. While a major goal can be motivating, it’s good to remember that sports are really about having fun, friendship, and feeling good in your body. Here are some great reasons to love sports!

They’re so fun.” - Charlotte, 8

I have a lot of energy and it gets my energy out. And, I mean, I’m just like a sport kid so, yeah it’s fun to play.” - Max, 11

They make exercising fun and they’re a great outdoor activity. My favourite sports are soccer and basketball because they’re team activities and I love working as a team. I also like to score goals because I’m very competitive.” - Kaya, 11

“You can run, you can spin, you can move your arms, move your feet…it’s a lot of movement and I like stretching my whole body. I like moving and doing what I want.” - Juliette, 5

I love the feeling of accomplishment that I get after playing sports.” - Greta, 16

Finally, each person has unique talents, abilities, and interests. The good news is that there are dozens (if not hundreds) of different sports out there, and everyone can find one—or many— they’re passionate about. You can love different sports for different reasons!

My two favourite sports are gymnastics and rock climbing. I like gymnastics because they have really good stuff like monkey bars and sometimes trapeze and... I really like monkey bars. I like rock climbing because it really stretches your legs, going from rock to rock, and it also stretches your arms.” Iris, 8

Feeling inspired yet? Try something new and play sports, just for fun!

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