Sports For Kids: The Value And Importance
Playing a sport is not only good for the physical health of a child but also for his mental development. But, apart from these two benefits, sports can help children in a number of ways.
By Ashwin Dewan
Is your child feeling low lately? Has he become lethargic and remains indoors mostly? Get him involved in sports. Not only will the physical activity involved in any sport help your child maintain good health but will boost his mood as well. The result – your child will be in good shape physically and he will be in a happy state of mind.
Satyendra Raj Gurung, a sports instructor at North Point School, Darjeeling, says, “Sports is a proven remedy for a low mood. In fact, I have personally come across many cases where a student who was lethargic and low at the beginning of the semester got involved in sports and changed for the better.”
“Over the years, sports can help your child to be more relaxed as it provides her with an environment where she can unwind, have fun, and improve her fitness levels. So, playing a sport provides multiple benefits to children,” adds Satyendra.
Value and importance of sports for kids
- Promotes regular physical activity: By playing any sport, your child will be indulging in physical activity on a regular basis. According to an article, How much exercise a day do children need?, published in Mayo Clinic, children aged 6 years and older need at least an hour of physical activity in a day. The activity can be either moderate or vigorous. Sports can help children do this and more. The target of an hour can be easily met by children just by going outside and kicking a ball around, running, or even by just walking continuously at a brisk pace. Additionally, this physical activity will help children develop stronger bones and muscles.
- Boosts self-esteem: One major benefit of playing sports is that your child will have to play in a team. Being part of one team with a common objective will boost your child’s self-esteem as he will feel a valuable part of a unit. Every little or big contribution they can make to the team, in the capacity of a leader of a helping hand, will increase their confidence and sense of self-worth. Children also learn to win with class and lose with dignity.
- Aids weight control: In today’s age, childhood obesity is a growing cause of concern. Playing sports is one way to keep children active and aid them in the fight against this problem. Regular physical activity through sports will help children maintain a healthy weight and decrease the chances of illnesses like obesity and others.
- Teaches discipline: Every sport requires the player or the team to maintain and practise discipline. To succeed in any sport, one must have self-restraint and learn to behave in a controlled manner whatever the situation be. Playing sports will instil discipline in your child that will help him later in life in various other situations.
- Helps develop motor and cognitive skills: Do you know that sports do not only develop physical skills? There is always a goal to reach in sports such as to hit the ball with the bat, score a goal using the feet, etc. While doing this, children learn new skills like dribbling, using the bat, learning to focus on the ball. This helps develop their motor and cognitive skills.
- Enables kids to make friends and develop social skills: During their growing up years, children may face some difficulty in making friends. Sports can help in this matter as when playing sports, children meet children of their own age group. It requires children to interact and play as a team. What results from this is the beginning of new friendships, which will have a positive impact on your child’s health and happiness.
- Promotes healthy competition: Sports involves competition in some form or the other. While many people may say competition can lead to fights and disunity, on the contrary, it is helpful. Why? As children grow, they will face competition in every sphere of life, whether it be the workplace, the school, or later in their personal relationships. Sports will help them deal with competition in a calm and composed manner. Children will learn to view competition as an opportunity to learn from success as well as failure.
- Builds character: Children who play sports can serve as good role models to other children. Playing sports early enables children to participate in social interactions and build key social skills. This, in turn, will teach children to develop and practise various mental and moral qualities they learn from the field.
Playing sports is an essential part of a child's life and every child should be encouraged to take up physical activity, in some form or the other. Both team-based and individual sports promote the twin benefits of fun and health for children. As a parent, you should try to encourage your child to pick up any sport from an early age. This will keep the child occupied and help him realise his strengths. The activity he chooses will become a healthy habit that will remain with him for years to come.
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