Academic, Emotional And Social Benefits Of Sports For Children

Is your child keen on pursuing a sport? Read on to know the reasons why you should encourage him and how playing sports will benefit him in the long run.

By Parama Gupta

Academic, Emotional And Social Benefits Of Sports For Children

All work and no play makes Jack a dull boy. We all have heard this saying often. But have we ever wondered how exactly sports help in our children’s development? Sports and games are important not only for a child’s physical development but also for his mental well-being and growth. Playing sports also enhances a child’s academic performance and teaches him important life skills.

Here are three critical ways in which sports contributes to your child’s long-term and holistic development.

Academic benefits

1. Builds stamina: A sound mind rests in a sound body. Playing sports will not only give your child the necessary physical exercise to develop her stamina, but it will also make her less sluggish and become more active. Her ability to study for long hours will also increase.

2. Helps focus: Excelling in any sport requires single-minded dedication. Achieving any target such as scoring a goal, hitting the ball or shooting an arrow requires concentration. Your child will learn how to devote all his time and thoughts to mastering new techniques, to be better in the game. Once he learns to focus, he will be able to give all his attention to his assignments and concentrate on studying.

3. Instils discipline: To be successful in any sport, your child has to develop a rigorous routine. This will help her appreciate the importance of a disciplined lifestyle. She will learn to efficiently divide her time between different tasks. She will also understand the value of maintaining a routine and follow the same principle while pursuing her academics.

4. Teaches hard work: ‘Practice, practice and more practice’ - that’s the mantra any sports teacher will teach your child. He will learn that success comes with hard work and will learn to apply the same rule to his academics as well. When he associates effort with results, he will be able to work toward bigger goals in his academic work.

Emotional benefits

1. Boosts self-esteem: By being a part of competitive sports or just by training for a game, your child will develop a healthy self-esteem. Winning matches and the appreciation and adulation that follow, act as great morale boosters.

2. Builds resilience: When your child starts participating in matches and playing competitive sports, she is bound to face failures along with success. These instances will help her see failure and success as two sides of the same coin. She will learn to bounce after suffering losses. This will make her mentally and emotionally resilient and help her face various setbacks in life.

3. Makes them aim higher: Sports infuses a spirit of healthy competition in children as they strive to be the best in their game by sharpening their skills. Your child will learn not to settle for anything but the best and will work hard toward achieving greater success by knowing his strengths and working on his limitations. This will teach him never to settle for the second-best.

4. Develops a sporting spirit: As a sportsperson, your child will come across others with the same skill set. Sometimes, she may face defeat at the hands of highly-skilled opponents. This will teach her to aspire to be the best and respect those better and more talented than her. This attitude will help her succeed in the long term.

Social benefits

1. Teaches team spirit: Playing in a team and trying to win for the team will teach your child to be selfless. He’ll start putting the interests of the team before his own and will do what is best collectively for the group rather than for him individually. This is a very important lesson to learn, to be successful in life, as later he might be tested for his ability to get along with others.

2. Enhances leadership skills: One of the best life skills that playing sports can teach your child is that of leadership. Your child need not necessarily be the captain of her team or hold a leadership position to imbibe this quality. Just being part of a team and taking the game seriously, is enough to bring in her a sense of responsibility and build the courage to take initiatives and decisions confidently, while guiding others.

3. Builds strategic skills: All competitive sports involve building a strategy at the team level or the individual level. Studying the opponent’s technique and coming up with ways to counter it, calls for great analytical powers. Playing in matches also require players to think quickly on their feet and come up with new strategies. This way, your child will learn how to strategise and use this skill in other areas of his life as well.

4. Teaches patience: There may be times in your child’s sporting career when she will have to wait long before she tastes success. She may go through spells where she will face only failures. Such phases will help her learn the importance of being patient, even when things do not go her way. It will teach her to persevere and not give up till she achieves what she wants.

By encouraging your child to excel in sports, you will help him learn all these essential life skills. Playing sports will also help him stay fit and active. So, motivate your child to choose any sports he is keen on and enrol him for classes in that game.

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