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How Sports Can Help Children Who Have Experienced Trauma

Experiencing adverse childhood trauma can leave children susceptible to mental health issues in adulthood. Participating in sports has emerged as a holistic platform for personal growth and emotional resilience – key elements to combatting childhood trauma.

The link between sports and better mental health has long been established. It can prevent individuals who have suffered abuse or neglect in their childhoods from developing future mental health problems.

This guide delves into the psychological and physiological benefits of sports participation, and how it can positively impact the lives of vulnerable children.

Understanding Trauma in Children

Trauma refers to both a one-off event and a cycle of scary, dangerous, violent or life-threatening occurrence that threatens a child’s physical and emotional safety. These events typically occur within a young person’s family or close relationships and could have been experienced directly or witnessed happening to somebody else.

Some common sources of trauma in children include:

  • A violent event such as an assault or natural disaster
  • Experiencing discrimination such as homophobia, racism and transphobia
  • Domestic violence
  • Bullying
  • A family or friend passing away
  • Serious physical illness

If you or a child under your care has experienced the above, it may be worth employing the professional services of solicitors to see if you have a case for compensation.

Psychological Benefits of Sports Participation

The psychological power of sports participation can’t be underestimated. Sports and team games help to improve a child’s resilience, confidence and social interaction. It aids in the development of cognitive skills that keep children determined and focused, which are essential qualities when undertaking academic work.

Team sports teach adolescents accountability and form community bonds that can lessen feelings of despair and isolation.

Physiological effects of sport

There are obvious benefits to sports participation, such as healthier lifestyles and less engagement with activities such as smoking, drinking alcohol or taking drugs. However, new research shows that well-being. Sports can reduce feelings of anxiety, stress and other symptoms of trauma-related disorders.

Building Resilience and Coping Skills

Sports teaches children valuable life lessons that will serve them well in adulthood. Goal-setting, perseverance and problem-solving are examples of skills that are developed through sports participation and can help them navigate teenage life’s pressures and demands.

Overcoming challenges in sports can translate into resilience in coping with trauma-related triggers in later life. Children learn how to lose, which teaches them how to bounce back from disappointment and cope with unpleasant experiences.

Creating a Safe and Supportive Environment

Playing sports isn’t the cure for childhood trauma alone. It should be used with a combination of trauma-informed coaching and inclusive practices within sports organisations. Offering a strengths-based approach to workshops and education will help young athletes learn the best sports practices and allow coaches to become passionate role models.

About the author

Jack Reuben Fletcher

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