Socialization Through Sports: How Summer Sports Can Help Online School Students Make Friends

4 min to read
Four students socializing by playing sports

One of the top concerns that Learning Coaches and parents have about making the switch to online school is that an online learning environment forces socialization for online students to become nearly completely virtual. And while there are many options for online socialization for students through online clubs, online activities, and daily online interaction with teachers and peers, in-person socialization is not only common for online students, but it also has its own set of unique and important benefits.

This is where summer sports can prove a valuable outlet for online school students. Learn more about socializing in sports, and how summer sports can benefit the social, emotional, and physical development of your online school student. 

The Benefits of Socialization in Sports for Students

Playing sports offers several developmental benefits for kids. In addition to the numerous physical benefits, here are some of the top benefits related to socialization and sports for students.

Learning interpersonal skills

Participating in sports programs allows students to learn interpersonal skills through the immersive experience of being part of a team. By being part of a team, kids get hands-on practice communicating with their peers, collaborating towards a shared goal, and better expressing their feelings when conflicts arise—all skills that will serve them in many areas of life both in and out of school. 

Improved self-esteem

Another benefit of socialization through sports for students is an increased sense of self-esteem and self-confidence. Sports practice and competition provides an unparalleled opportunity for students to watch their hard work pay off and achieve their goals, which in turn builds self-confidence. 

Stronger identity and unique sense of self

In addition to fostering friendships with others, participating in sports also allows students to foster their own sense of identity. By being part of a team with at least one shared interest, students can gain a better understanding of who they are and how they fit into the world around them. 

Opportunity to create new friendships

Engagement in any sort of new social situation provides an opportunity to build relationships and new friendships, and this is certainly the case with sports. By participating in a sports program, students can expect to meet many new peers their own age, and hopefully find common ground upon which to create new friendships. 

How Socialization Through Sports Can Help Online School Students

How do the benefits of socialization through sports apply to online school students? Online school students who engage in sports programs can benefit from new opportunities to build-in person friendships, develop interpersonal skills, gain exposure to new social situations, and know what is needed to navigate those social situations. 

Parents and learning coaches can act as agents of socialization in sports by encouraging students to step outside their comfort zone and try something new, especially during the summer months, when sports are prevalent and the inclination to get outside and move is at its highest! 

5 Most Popular Summer Sports for Kids to Build Socialization

One of the great things about starting a sports program in summer is that there are so many options for students to choose from. Here are some of the most popular summer sports for kids to build socialization:

  • Soccer
  • Baseball or softball
  • Basketball
  • Volleyball
  • Swimming


Soccer is one of the most accessible sports for young athletes, since the equipment needed is so minimal, and it helps young players develop physically through aerobic exercise and hand-eye coordination.

Baseball or softball

Baseball is a great summer sport for your child to get involved with because it’s truly all about teamwork. Every position has a different role to play, and you need to understand the unique strengths and responsibilities of each player in order to be successful. 

In addition to being a team sport, baseball can help build patience, resilience and decision-making skills in students.


Since players are in close proximity and constantly moving around the court, basketball is a very social sport. The social nature of basketball is conducive to developing stronger social and communication skills, as well as the physical skills of coordination, endurance, and balance. 


Volleyball is a team sport that relies on in-game communication. Players frequently talk to each other during games to call for the ball, share ownership, and maximize chances of success through teamwork. This makes volleyball a great summer sport to create social opportunities for online school students.


Even though swimming is an individual sport, swim practices and even swim meets are excellent opportunities for socialization.

Build Socialization Through Sports by Signing Your Student Up for a New Activity

The link between socialization and sports is strong, and the benefits for online students are numerous. Encourage your student to try something new by signing up for a summer sports program – and watch their confidence, self-esteem, and socialization skills grow. Learn more ways that your student can socialize outside of the virtual classroom here.

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