With the ebb and flow in the fortunes of the nation’s sports teams, commentators frequently assert that children ought to be involved at grassroots level – for the good of sport. And while there is much truth in that, it’s also true that getting kids into different sports from a young age is just as important for their personal development, if not more so.
Primary school children are particularly liable to benefit from the opportunity to take part in organised sport. With qualified, enthusiastic, patient staff and readily available equipment from a stockist such as Hope Education, you’ll see children come on leaps and bounds in the following areas.
Playing with peers is a big draw, and is often the factor that motivates children to try a new sport in the first place. It means kids can spend time with their friends in safe surroundings, working together towards a common goal. They’ll develop the social skills that will help them through school and into adulthood, such as overcoming conflicts and barriers, learning to be assertive without being aggressive and communicating with one another. They’ll also get into the healthy habit of being active for prolonged periods.
There are many positives associated with being competitive, and it doesn’t need to spill over into being a sore loser. Competition is everywhere, like it or not, but teaching kids how to adapt and succeed in dealing with it through sport is to teach them the basics without them realising it. Participating in sport helps children to cope with competition in a friendly environment, and also keeps boisterous, over-competitive rivals in check. The skills they learn through team play will serve them for the rest of their lives.
Handling winning and losing is yet another crucial life skill that sport can help instil at an early age. It helps to create a balanced outlook: success and failure will each visit us many times through our lifetime, and if children can absorb that fact and be settled with it, they’ll have a strong character for most of their lives. They’ll also co-operate better with others and use better judgement when it comes to decision-making.
Also, being able to assess why they came up short and make necessary adjustments is another useful facet of sporting behaviour. Not enough power in that penalty? You know what to do next time then. Mastering personal improvement is a great foundation to becoming a hard-working, conscientious adult.
Or, in other words, taking responsibility. When a child has the ball at their feet or in their hands, the rest of the team is waiting on their decision. In that split second, they must weigh up the options available to them and then act upon their choice as effectively as possible. Leadership doesn’t necessarily mean telling others what to do – although voicing opinions is a valid aspect of it – but showing others that you are willing to step up.