As sporting registrations ramp up in the next month for various codes across the region it’s important to remember the many benefits of sport to kids.
Apart from keeping them physically fit, sport can also have a huge impact on a child’s psychological and social well-being, teaching them some valuable life skills along the way.
Joining a sports team gives kids a sense of belonging and the opportunity to make new friends outside of school. This can provide a much-needed social support as they grow.
Sport teaches children how to lose graciously and respect their opponents.
Controlling emotions, particularly negative ones, and learning how to channel those emotions in a positive manner is critical to sporting success.
A child learns to respect authority through sport.
Following set rules, taking direction and accepting decisions is a large part of playing competitive sport.
Respecting elders and listening to peers is an important skill kids can take from the court or pitch and comes via regular interaction with coaches, referees and other players.
Sport is character building and can help children develop self-esteem. They will learn that hard work, persistence and practice are critical to improvement.
The discipline of training and the commitment it takes to pursue a sport are traist transferable to many other aspects of life.
It’s no coincidence that participation in sport is linked to higher academic achievement in school.
If your kids put time and effort into getting better at something, and see the results, they are more likely to put the same amount of dedication into their studies.
Sport encourages teamwork. A team can’t succeed without working together, no matter how good the individual players.
Communication is key and learning to be part of a team is synonymous with learning to value the effectiveness of teamwork.
Sport teaches kids to be less selfish.
Kids need to think about what’s best for the team. Not themselves.
This is another useful lesson to carry into adulthood and future careers.
Sport develops resilience.
Part of sport is about bouncing back from defeats, injuries, and learning from mistakes.
It teaches kids to pick themselves up after a hard tackle, or to hold their head high after losing badly, then get right back out there the next week.
The earlier kids can learn these skills, the better.
Overall, the psychological and social benefits of playing sport can help kids become well-rounded, mature adults.
So whether it’s a team sport or an individual sport, what your kids can learn goes beyond the physical.