When I started my school and included one sport and performing art for all children in the curriculum so that they were exposed to all-round learning, parents asked me various questions like what’s the need, children need to concentrate on academics, let’s not shift their focus, etc. I don’t blame them because education has always been about academics. However, did you know playing sports or performing arts can help children build on some very important life skills that help children in their adult life. These life lessons are the foundation to lead a successful, happy, and content life? In this article let’s look at how playing a sport helps.
While physical fitness is given great emphasis as it helps children keep active, there is a greater reason why parents should let children play at least one sport regularly. Playing a sport helps children build on some real-life lessons which may not be inculcated otherwise:
1.Persistence: Learning a sport is all about learning the technique. Children will not succeed every time; they have to keep working hard at it. This essentially teaches children persistence. The will to keep trying till they have reached what they are aiming for.
2. Team Work: Playing a group sport is all about working together as a team. Children will need to trust each other and use each other’s strong points to reach the ultimate goal. it helps the child from being focused only on themselves to being focused on the goal and doing everything to achieve it.
3. Goal-Oriented: Children learn to focus on their goal, which is to play the game and win. It helps children to concentrate on the task at hand without getting distracted by their surroundings. Hence being invested in a sport is beneficial.
4. Learning from Failures: In a game, children win some and lose some. When they win teach them to look at the strategy, they used that helped them win, likewise, when they lose, look back analyse where they went wrong, take learnings from those mistakes, practice to correct the flaws, and move ahead.
5. Attitude: playing a sport helps children build the right attitude. The attitude of taking things as they come and learning from them. When they lose, they learn not to be disheartened and when they win, they learn not to boast.
6. Discipline: playing a sport is all about practice and improving the game daily. One needs to dedicate time every day. This brings in discipline in children which then spills over to other aspects of life too.
7. Leadership: the captain of the team is responsible for how the team performs. This teaches children how to be a leader. A leader looks at everyone’s strong points and gives them tasks according to what they are good at. They work on bringing out the best in each other to achieve a common goal.
8. Passion: to succeed at a sport one needs to be passionate about it. One must have the hunger to achieve more and perfect themselves.
9. Patience: Patience is a key to success because one need not get what they have set out to achieve on the first try itself. Playing a sport teaches children to have patience, it teaches them to wait for the right moment before striking. It teaches them to step back, learn and then move forward.
10. Focus: playing a sport requires one to be agile and think on the feet, as one is not aware of what’s coming next. One can only anticipate. Being focused on the task at hand helps children be present and react at the right time.
Sports on the outside may seem like just a physical activity that helps children in being physically active and helps them spend their excess energy on the field. However, when we look closely participating in some kind of sport helps children subtly pick on these important life lessons. Lessons that are essential to help children deal with the uncertain future that awaits them, these lessons will help them be patient and persistent to reach their goals despite all the roadblocks they face.