Youth athletic programs provide some of the most valuable experiences for children and young adults. According to a report by the American Academy of Pediatrics, involvement in sports during adolescence is an associated predictor of lower depression symptoms, lower perceived stress, and higher self-rated mental health in young adults.

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Not only have athletics been shown to improve mental health, but they help children develop skills related to volunteering, team building, rule acceptance and positive attitudes toward cultural diversity. 

Here are five reasons Lerner & Rowe Gives Back believes investing in youth athletics can help shape and strengthen local youth. 

Helps Promote Healthy Lifestyles 

With advancements in technology capturing the minds of our youth, many kids are spending a lot of time indoors in front of a smartphone, tablet or television screen. This type of lifestyle, when carried into adult life, can cause serious mental health concerns, such as anxiety, depression and more. In a 2018 study, research found that there were significant associations between screen time and low psychological well-being in children and adolescents.

When kids are involved in sports, they learn the importance of mental and physical health. With the help of sports practices, games, competitions and more, kids learn the importance of a nutritious meal, adequate sleep and healthy exercise. When kids see the positive effects of an active lifestyle, it leads to healthier families overall in our community. 

Gives Youth a Sense of Belonging

When kids come together to play on a team or compete against one another, they feel a part of something larger than themselves. Youth sports offer a unique opportunity for children and young adults to gain a sense of belonging. Sports give them an opportunity to  interact and bond with other children of similar ages, as well as adults. 

Sports allow children to develop social skills, learn cooperation and become part of a team. Athletics provide a safe and encouraging environment for children to express themselves and develop physical, social and emotional skills. Through physical activity, children gain a sense of accomplishment and learn to be competitive in a supportive and friendly way. The social dynamics of youth sports offer a crucial opportunity for children to learn how to interact with others, make friends and build relationships through teamwork.

Builds Confidence and Self Esteem 

Youth sports also help children build self-confidence and self-esteem. Children learn how to set and achieve goals, develop skills, and learn to accept both victory and defeat. These lessons are invaluable to help children learn to accept themselves and their capabilities, and develop a strong sense of identity.

Kids are able to explore their creativity and express themselves in a fun and healthy way while participating in youth athletics. This can be an excellent tool for kids to build their self-esteem and confidence.

Decreases Negative Behaviors 

Youth sports have been known to be an effective way of keeping young people out of trouble, and research has shown that involvement in sports can even reduce crime in adolescents. This is because sports provide an outlet to channel energy into something positive while also teaching important lessons about teamwork, discipline and hard work.

Sports provide a structure where young people learn to follow rules and respect authority. This helps them to stay on the right path and away from negative influences that harm our youth. 

Creates Future Role Models

Many kids who participate in youth athletics grow up to be the people actually coaching and mentoring our youth. The valuable lessons and skills that children learn at a young age are carried with them throughout their adult life and can easily be transferred along to younger generations to continue shaping our youth into positive, giving members of our community. 

At Lerner and Rowe Gives Back, we believe it’s our duty to give back to the communities that have given us so much. That’s why we’re proud to support our community’s youth athletic programs. We hope that you will join us so that we can all work together to create a better future for our children.

Author: Kevin Rowe is a Founder and Principal of the law offices of Lerner & Rowe, PC, and the firms nonprofit, Lerner & Rowe Gives Back. For more information, visit and