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5 Reasons Why Sports Make Kids Better Leaders

Updated: Jan 6, 2020

“Leadership and learning are indispensable to each other.” John F. Kennedy

At PowerU, we believe that kids’ sports are about fun, leadership, and learning. As John F. Kennedy once said, leadership and learning are inextricably linked. Through sports, kids develop skills that make them better leaders now and in the future. Here’s our top 5 list of ways that sports equip students to become confident leaders and learners.


“Vision is the art of seeing what is invisible to others.” - Jonathan Swift

Leaders are visionaries: they notice the trends, complexities, future challenges, and structural factors that others miss along the way. Vision helps leaders to solve hard organizational problems, and sports helps students to learn how to develop a leadership vision. On a team, kids are encouraged to think through sports plays, anticipate difficulties, and consider individual and collective strengths and weaknesses. Playing on a team helps kids to consider larger problems and to think creatively about how to approach them.


“Genius is 1% talent and 99% percent hard work.” - Albert Einstein

In a world of quick-fixes, tenacity is one of the most important things we can teach our kids. As Albert Einstein wrote, genius is 99% hard work--- grit. Playing on a sports team spurs children to transcend their limits: instead of quitting the team after losing a match, together, teammates develop endurance by giving their all in the next game, and the next, and the next. Kids who learn tenacity at an early age will be less intimidated by big projects or challenges, and will be better prepared to lead others in the future.


“Conflict can destroy a team which hasn’t spent time learning to deal with it.” - Thomas Isgar

Teams experience conflict. Yet it’s not the conflict that can destroy a team, but the team’s inability to deal with it. Conflict resolution does not come naturally. It’s a learned skill. The conflicts that arise in kids’ sports provide incredible opportunities for kids to learn to negotiate conflict. At PowerU, our coaches are devoted to helping students navigate team conflicts in constructive ways which students will carry with them throughout their education.


“Most of the things worth doing in the world had been declared impossible before they were done.”- Louis D. Brandeis

Sports help kids not only to dream big, but to make a plan to accomplish their dreams. If a soccer team wants to win the championship, they work with their coach and with one another to make a training plan. If a softball players dreams about mastering her linear hitting, she makes a practice plan. Through sports, kids learn to map out pragmatic, step-by-step plans that will help them to reach their biggest dreams. Goal-setting planners are the types of leaders than can bring vision and hard work together to benefit their communities.


“Servant leadership is easy for people with high self-esteem. Such people have no problem giving credit to others. They have no problem listening to other people for ideas. They have no problem in building other people up.” - Ken Blanchard

When kids chase their ambitions on and off the field, they grow in confidence. When they help their teammates, kids grow in servant leadership. According to Ken Blnachard, servant leadership and confidence all go hand-in-hand. Whether aiming for a high-jump PR or helping a teammate practice their kick-turn, kids who practice team sports learn to serve those around them and to have confidence in their own abilities. Kids who play sports are better equipped to become future leaders who are confident, servant-hearted, and dedicated to helping others shine.

At PowerU, we’re dedicated to come alongside students as they learn to become the confident, servant-oriented leaders of tomorrow. We believe that sports can help kids to develop the vision, tenacity, conflict resolution and goal-setting skills required chase their biggest dreams, and to act as a leader in future local and global communities.

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