Relationship Between Sports and Self-Esteem

Through sports, we improve both our physical and mental aspects, which allows us to improve our personal image and our mood, as well as create positive changes in our daily habits. 
Relationship Between Sports and Self-Esteem

Last update: 19 June, 2019

The close relationship that exists between sports and self-esteem helps people both physically and mentally in regards to character, discipline and responsibility, in addition to the goals they’ve set out to achieve. This helps us focus more on the really important tasks and relationships in our lives.

Not only do sports represent an option for us to preserve our health, but also to maintain and prolong our physical and mental youth. This means that it strengthens our self-esteem from childhood, adolescence, and finally, during our adulthood.

Sports and self-esteem go hand in hand. Sports favor the achievement of goals  and observable advancement in the capacities of a specific discipline. On the other hand, the acceptance and recognition of this success by the family, a loved one, or a peer group promotes a person’s self-confidence.

Failure in building self-esteem

It’s important to know that failures in certain circumstances aren’t definitive defeats. It’s essential for our children to understand that, when practicing sports, failure is a common experience and it doesn’t mean we should give up. On the contrary, setbacks indicate that we must strive more to achieve what we long for.

We learn valuable lessons from our failures, which help us avoid making mistakes in the future. Consequently, this strengthens our self-concept. In turn, this is complemented by benefits, such as our physical appearance, the way we treat others, and the feedback we receive from our surroundings.

Nonetheless, what really matters is how we feel about ourselves and how happy we are in the activities we do. Hence, it’s essential to let children practice the sport they like best and not the one their parents decide.

Relationship Between Sports and Self-Esteem

Self-esteem and sports, allies in strengthening people

One way to improve our children’s self-esteem is by letting them practice the sport of their choice. In doing so, it’s helpful to set short, medium, and long-term objectives. These goals must be well defined so that when they’re achieved, their self-esteem will increase. 

Some objectives may be: to consistently attend the training sessions with discipline and perseverance, to manage a technique perfectly within a month, to be a starting player in different tournaments, to improve their performance, etc.

Only children who feel good about themselves, despite being aware of their shortcomings, have the confidence to approach other people. They do it because they want their company and to share with them, not to reaffirm themselves as individuals.

When they don’t have enough self-esteem, infants are easily encouraged to do anything to be accepted in a certain group.

It’s essential for our children to understand that, when practicing sports, there are many unfavorable outcomes, but that they don’t have to give up because of them.

Relationship between sports and self-esteem

There are many benefits of practicing sports for our physical and mental health. Among them, we can list:

  • Offers the possibility of improving an individual’s external image. This exponentially increases self-esteem.
  • Improves health. Due to this, a person’s mood changes positively.
  • Increases energy, vitality, and dynamism. Consequently, the perception that one has towards oneself increases radically.
  • Produces the release of endorphins, the so-called happiness hormone. Therefore, the possibility of falling into a depressive mindset decreases.
Relationship Between Sports and Self-Esteem
  • Encourages social interaction. In most cases, when we play sports, we’re surrounded by other people, so that sociability is enhanced.
  • Elevates personal safety and balances the mind. The reason is that we invest quality time when we exercise.

Any sports activity should be aimed at promoting the physical and mental health of our children. Thus, it will generate positive contributions to their self-esteem. These practices reinforce sociability and character, as well as fundamental values, such as respect for others, responsibility, and discipline.

Young children who are happy with what they do, who observe their achievements consistently, and receive recognition from their family and friends will be adults with strong character and healthy self-esteem.

Thanks to this, they won’t have doubts or fears when considering new challenges that put their abilities to the test. 

All cited sources were thoroughly reviewed by our team to ensure their quality, reliability, currency, and validity. The bibliography of this article was considered reliable and of academic or scientific accuracy.

  • Unicef. (2004). Deporte, recreación y juego. Unicef.
  • Guillén García, F., Castro Sánchez, J. J., & Guillén García, M. Á. (1997). Calidad de vida, salud y ejercicio físico: una aproximación al tema desde una perspectiva psicosocial. Revista de psicología del deporte, 6(2), 0091-110.
  • Márquez, S. (1995). Beneficios psicológicos de la actividad física. Revista de psicología general y aplicada: Revista de la Federación Española de Asociaciones de Psicología, 48(1), 185-206.
  • Naranjo, L. H. A. (2015). Beneficios del ejercicio. Hacia la promocion de la salud, 8(1), 86-100.

This text is provided for informational purposes only and does not replace consultation with a professional. If in doubt, consult your specialist.