“Children learn as they play. Most importantly, in play children learn how to learn. ” — Fred Donaldson
What can better sum up the role of sports in the learning and development of children than the above statement by the world-renowned play specialist? Indeed, sports can imbibe into our kids the ever-important life skills that probably no textbooks can teach them.
Often, we find ourselves stacking up lame excuses like lack of time, unavailability of playgrounds, etc., in our attempt to justify not encouraging children to take time off from their digital interfaces and go out to play. But UNICEF is determined to drive investment in sports for children. The reason is, in recent research spanning 100 countries, it was revealed that sport powerfully impacts the overall education and life skills development of kids.
Let us take a look at the numerous ways sports contribute to the development and well-being of our children.
Sculpting Physical and Mental Strength
Moving outdoors to kick some ball is more productive than staying home and gazing at the screen. Firstly, the open air will enthuse some much-needed oxygen into their lungs, secondly, exercise their bodies to develop stronger muscles, and thirdly build their mental stamina to deal with physically strenuous circumstances.
Motor Skills Development
Reports suggest that participation in organized sports can improve motor skills in children. When a child plays basketball, the acts of running, catching, or throwing a ball is not just part of the game. These actions strongly develop the locomotor system, ball and balance skills as well as the attention span of the child.
Shaping Personality and Developing Confidence
Be it an individual or a team sport, playing in a structured and competitive forum can build the personality of the players immensely. Say your child is training in karate. The sheer amount of confidence that a few months of training can develop is unimaginable. And confidence is the essence of a strong personality.
Discipline and Abiding by Rules
No matter what sport your child is interested in playing, there would be some set rules that they need to follow and train in a disciplined way to master the game. So, playing a game is not just child’s play. It is serious business, imparting important life lessons on discipline and following rules that will leave a mark in their impressionable minds.
Team Skills and Fair Play
Playing a sport imbibes team skills. In an individual sport, the coach and the player are a team. In a team sport, interactions with the team make or break the game. This team skill that a child learns proves to be a boon when they grow older and get into a professional field. Moreover, sports teach us, above anything else, fair play. And that is one value that makes an ethical person.
A winning attitude and dealing with failure
In every game, one side wins, and the other loses. Sports teach to play to win but to respect the opponent team. It also teaches the players to accept failure like no other, giving them a lesson in balance and the courage to face adverse situations in life.
Through physical sports, children become sociable and make friends, not with faceless strangers on the digital media but real friends with whom they can share a laugh, bump their fists, and lean on in distress.
In a nutshell, sports profusely affect the physical, mental, and emotional development of children. At Samsidh Group of Schools, we realize and accept this impact and endeavor to balance academics with physical education and sporting activities to bring out the best in our wards.