Sports aren’t just good for your child’s physical health; sports are great for mental health as well. In this article we’ll look at how participating in sports can help children develop transferrable skills and valuable traits that can apply both in the classroom and in life.
As the saying goes, there’s no “I” in the word “team.”
Sports help teach your child teamwork and selflessness.
A team sport like basketball or soccer teaches your child the importance of working together. Without good teamwork, you won’t get anywhere.
The same goes for the classroom and eventually the workplace.
Some people love teamwork and others dread it. However, it will be important for your child to learn to work with others early on as many industries involve working with others at some point or another. Your child will also undoubtedly find her or himself in a team situation in the classroom.
Beyond team settings, the skills learned from working with teammates can help develop emotional intelligence which can help children understand different personalities and how to communicate with others as they grow.
Discipline is another valuable trait that sports instill in children.
There are so many distractions for children these days – from TV to smart phones and video games. It’s hard for children to be still and focus.
Sports help teach your child the discipline she or he needs.
Your child will need to show up at practice at a specific time each week, and typically coaches have consequences set in place if punctuality is not upheld.
The extra runs and pushups not only help children with their physical fitness, but they are also methods of improving their listening skills while teaching them to follow instructions and respect authoritative figures such as teachers and coaches.
Discipline taught from sports will be helpful later in life when your child needs to show up at school and work on time. It’s not just punctuality – sports will teach your child focus on the task ahead of them. In the classroom, discipline is what will cause your child to put down their phone and focus on the lessons being taught.
Goal setting is a powerful way for your child to achieve great things in life. Setting goals early on will help your child put their life in the next gear as they continue to grow and expect things of themselves.
Whether your child is playing a team or individual sport, goals will need to be set to enhance their skills and achieve success.
In basketball, this could be improving ball handling skills whereas in tennis this could mean developing more strength to hit the ball with more power.
Setting goals takes self-reflection, determination, and a commitment. Beyond individual skills, sports are a great way to set measurable goals such as winning a championship or running sprints within a certain time limit.
The same goes for school. Whether it’s scoring a certain grade on a test or a report card, setting goals are an important part of self-development and hard work.
Communication is a key skill both in sports and life.
If your child doesn’t let the other players around them know what she or he plans to do, there could be a misunderstanding, which can lead to the other team scoring a goal. Instances of successful and unsuccessful communication experienced through sports will teach your child when and how to communicate with others.
In the classroom, your child can use the communication skills learned through team sports to communicate with their teacher and fellow classmates. Whether it through a group project or when making new friends, building communication skills early on will help your child’s experiences at school.
Listening does not always come naturally, especially with the many distractions around us. It is a skill that is developed over time.
In sports, good listening skills are crucial.
To execute on the court or field, your child must listen to the coach to understand what the game strategy is. That is no different than listening to a teacher in the classroom. Your child will have to listen to what the teacher is saying, otherwise, some important lessons could be missed and it could hinder their growth.
Sports can help your child immensely in many aspects of their life. The combination of physical and mental development is what makes participation in sports very beneficial early on for children.
More than a game, sports are a tool for self-development, exploration, and enjoyment.