Being a youth coach in any sport is a huge investment of time and resources. In all likelihood, you’re going to spend multiple evenings every week and probably sometime on weekends on the field or at the court depending on what sport you’re coaching. Thousands of children sign up every year to take part in youth sports, and none of that is possible without men and women who sacrificially volunteer and help those kids chase their dreams. If you’re on the fence about signing up to volunteer, here are some benefits you should keep in mind.

Passing Down a Love of the Game

Many times a parent will volunteer to serve as a coach of a team their child plays for, which is completely understandable. But it’s important to realize the benefits outside of your own child being under your tutelage. If you grew up loving and playing a particular sport, your child may catch the same love naturally from being around you. However, other kids on your child’s team can catch the same infectious love for a game that matters to you. Not only will you see the same benefits from your own life passed down, but the long term health of a sport that you love will also benefit.

Benefits for the Kids

The physical benefits for kids playing youth sports are obvious. Being physically active has a positive impact on everybody’s system in a young person, but the benefits go well beyond the heart, lungs, and muscles. The Aspen Institute conducted a study that indicates that children playing sports achieve 40% higher test scores and are 15% more likely to go to college. The benefits extend from the field to the classroom.

Developing New Relationships

As an adult, the demands on your time are already extensive. So much so that it’s probably difficult for you to make and maintain new friendships. Coaching youth sports will give you an excellent opportunity to make new connections with people who automatically have something in common with you: kids who are active in sports. Take this opportunity to meet people you’ve never talked to and spend some time with them. The benefits extend from the child-athletes up to you as the coach.

While coaching is time-consuming and demanding, the benefits of being a part of a youth league far outweigh the sacrifices.