Learning through experience begins at a young age, especially before children perceive language. Kids need to be actively involved, whether seeing others in action, listening to natural sounds in their surroundings, or touching curious things they are starting to notice.
When kids play a sport, they are using their bodies and minds together and begin to associate it with exercise. Keeping fit helps prevent common health issues, and even though playing sports has risks, creating a safe and enjoyable environment and fun can make a difference to their experience.
What are some skills that kids learn from engaging in sports? While adults and parents are responsible for teaching younger children, sports provide a good learning environment that requires kids to learn on their own. Here are four essential skills that they can learn from playing sports.
As the famous saying goes, there’s no “I” in the word “team.” Young children play sports not to become top athletes but to understand the importance of working hard towards a shared goal. Solving problems with teammates is only possible when kids work together, making them more aware of their abilities and how they are helpful to the team.
Whether it’s an athletic tournament or friendly competition, the chances of winning are trumped by the opportunity to display good teamwork and sportsmanship not just towards opponents but to teammates.
Sports are all about goal setting and how to achieve them. It’s full of hard work and training to keep improving performance, so it requires patience and perseverance for children to get what they want. Kids first learn the concept of investment through sports because the more they put in the time and effort, the bigger the rewards they will receive. This applies to all other endeavors they decide to participate in, whether it’s getting good grades, making friends, or applying for their dream job. Patience is a virtue that significantly impacts playing sports and growing up.
Playing for fun is encouraged; whenever kids receive cheers from their parents or peers, they develop the ability to face a situation that scares them. Especially in sports where there’s a 50-50 chance to win or lose, children are taught to take risks and do their best even if they commit mistakes.
The best way to teach courage is to create situations where failure happens, such as learning how to hit a baseball for the first time or swimming 25-meters in under 30 seconds. When kids learn sports, they trust their coaches to know what it’s like to succeed and fail, making it a good lesson on coping with adversity.
Unsurprisingly, kids must know how to follow the rules to be good in sports. The role of coaches and referees is to signify authority and enforce these rules so that everyone is subject to the same expectations. Therefore, kids need to learn how important it is to listen well and understand instructions. It’s possible for authority figures to make mistakes, so a key lesson when developing discipline includes learning how to question others respectfully. Knowing how and when to react is also crucial in competitive sports, and it all boils down to one’s discipline.
There are many tools to teach children the values of teamwork, patience, courage, and discipline, but sports is a great avenue to teach them all while enjoying it. Caring for them now will surely impact how they can contribute and care for their communities in the future.