Why do sport?

 

What are the benefits of getting your kids involved in sport?

 

Being involved in a variety of sports in my youth has resulted in me becoming a naturally active adult.  As an integral part of my lifestyle, I enjoy the mental and physical balance that regular exercise provides.  For my kids, I want them to enjoy a wide range of sports for a number of reasons which will be discussed in this article.  My main hope is that by forming good habits now, this healthy attitude will carry over into their teens and adulthood.

 

Instilling good attitudes towards their health now will equip them to be healthy adults.

 

As I already wrote about in my corresponding blog post ‘Crossing the Line?’, participating in sport isn’t only about winning.  Unfortunately, the ugly side of competitive sport and the aggressive manner of some parents can have a lasting negative effect on a child’s sporting experience.  However, I believe in pushing past these few bad eggs and thereby denying them the power to ruin the experience for your child.  There are so many wonderful sporting associations which encourage your kid to grow and have fun in a positive environment.  Overall, the benefits from participating in sports can translate into positive life skills which can have an amazingly positive influence in other areas of your life.  Below are a few examples of the skills you can attain.

 

 

Teamwork!

The ability to work in a team is a skill that follows you throughout your life.  Involvement in a team sport allows your child the perfect opportunity to develop this skill.  Being part of a team teaches your kids the ability to negotiate and compromise in an environment that usually involves various challenges and personality types.   Also the camaraderie and friendships formed may help your child to establish a good, positive support network.  Some say that this  support network may even assist kids with bullying incidents.

 

 Resilience!

In sport, sometimes you win and sometimes you lose.  Learning to be a good loser and not to throw a tantrum when things don’t go your way is a very useful behaviour for a child to learn.  Disappointment is a fact of life and how you deal with it could possibly help define your success in life. Learning from the disappointment of losing a game and then getting out to play again the following weekend helps to build a resilient backbone in your children.   As the saying goes:  ‘If at first you don’t succeed, try and try again’.

 

  Listening and Following Instructions.

Whether it is a team or individual sport, your child needs to follow instructions given by their coach or coaches.  Training drills and techniques needed to be a good athlete requires the child to be a good listener.  Also this involves listening and respecting authority figures such as coaches, referees and umpires.

 

 Fitness and Coordination.

You read all the time about the growing obesity problem with our children.  Teaching your kids to be active and enjoy sport can influence their long-term approach to their health.  Respecting your body as a vessel to be fed healthy food and also do regular exercise has great medical benefits.  Also another problem many parents and teachers have noted is the lack of physical coordination our kids have due to long hours spent on technological devices.  Getting them involved in sport can help develop their motor-skills and hopefully make them more active as opposed to passive due to video games.

 

 Discipline and Hard Work.

Nothing comes easy in life.  Success requires hard work and dedication.  Encouraging your child to strive hard to improve and achieve a personal best can be learnt through participating in sport.  Again it isn’t always about winning, but by going to training and apply themselves, you can see a child’s confidence grow when they see how their hard work and dedication has paid off.   Who doesn’t want to work with a person who is a hard worker?

 

 Commitment and Responsibility.

Joining a team requires a commitment of your time and energy.  This entails your child becoming a responsible team member who turns up to designated training days and scheduled games.  You child learns that with this commitment they must follow through and not skip out on just because they may ‘not feel like it’.  As a member of a team, they have a responsibility to listen to their coach and always try their best for themselves and their team.

 

 Mental and Physical Perseverance.

When the going gets tough,  the tough get going!  In a sport like tennis, your mental fortitude needs to be strong in tight moments in a match.  Sometimes the best athletes or the smartest people are out-performed by those with less ability but with greater mental resolve.  Sport gives your child the opportunity to develop mental and physical strength.  Being regularly challenged in close or stressful situations on the pitch or court tests and develops your child’s resolve.  Sometimes you succeed and sometimes you don’t  However, they say you learn more through losing than winning and this attitude helps people to see the positive in challenging situations.  After all, don’t we all want strong, confident and positive children?

 

 

 

 

 

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