Participation in sports is a great way of staying active and offers wonderful rewards for mental health. Being involved in sports has been proven to help children learn valuable skills for dealing with life's ups and downs. They teach youth how to interact with others and work as a team. This skill facilitates working with others in other ways such as on a class project or a school play. Sports also help students become more independent and feel better about themselves. The result is positive self-esteem and self-confidence, which are extremely important for determining later happiness and success.
Sports also offer an enjoyable, exciting environment in which to learn how to handle both failure and success. Everyone wins and loses some of the time in both sports and other endeavors. Winning feels great and empowering but can also cause a young person to feel pressure and anxiety in the next attempt to win. Losing usually produces feelings of sadness, depression, and disappointment. Learning how to cope with these different feelings fosters good mental health.