Written by Ashwin Dewan and published on 07 June 2021.
Is your child always on the smartphone or watching television? Watch out! Being inactive can harm his health. So, encourage him to play games - of the outdoor kind!
At a time when children are growing up fast, they should be active every single day. Inactivity can lead to health problems like obesity and sickness. In a blog for Florida children's hospital, Kids Urgent Care, titled The importance of sports and physical activity, sports psychologist Dr Glyn Roberts of the University of Illinois, who has worked primarily in the field of sport for children, says, "Sport can affect a child's development of self-esteem and self-worth, it is also within the sport that peer status and peer acceptance is established and developed."
To quote Kobe Bryant, former and late American basketball player, "Sports are such a great teacher. I think of everything they've taught me: camaraderie, humility, how to resolve differences."
Any sport - be it football, basketball, cricket, tennis, or swimming - not only improves the physical well-being of your child but also contributes to his psychological and social development. One only needs to look at the lives of champions such as Roger Federer - who recently won a record 8th Wimbledon trophy - and Sachin Tendulkar - who retired from cricket as the only cricketer to have scored 100 international ODI hundreds - to understand that sport leads to all-round development.
Here are some of the benefits that sport provides children and why you should encourage your child to play:
Sport can have a positive impact on the self-esteem of your child, which in turn will increase her confidence levels. While playing a sport, your child may need to score certain points, perfect a skill or even boost her endurance levels. As she accomplishes these targets, she will realize that if she tries, she can achieve anything and her self-esteem will get a huge boost.
"My 3-year-old son was very reserved and low on confidence kind of child, he would stutter when talking to others. Joining the school's cricket team brought a remarkable change in his nature, he has started talking more to others and his stuttering stopped. It just seems as if he has been injected with a dose of confidence, I credit this change in my son to sports", says Harsha Gunalan, an SEO specialist
Children love to play anywhere and with anything - this is a universal truth. While playing any sport that involves physical activity and exercise, the body releases endorphins, which trigger a positive feeling in the body. So, if your child plays a sport, especially as part of a team, she will tend to be happy.
When you encourage your child to take part in sport, you are also helping to develop his social skills. How? By participating in sport, your child will develop social skills such as leadership and how to communicate and build a team. That will help him later in various spheres of life. He will learn to interact and work not only with other children his age but also with adults in the form of his coaches and sports officials. His social circle will also broaden.
Children who play a sport regularly usually perform better in their studies. One reason for this is that they learn to apply the same principles of dedication and hard work that they use while playing a sport to studies. They learn how to work as part of a team, how to efficiently manage school assignments and maintain focus on their present task. Plus, sports scholarships are always an added incentive.
If your child is shy and keeps to herself or struggles to talk to others, you should encourage her to play for playing a game that could improve her communication skills.
Playing a sport will require your child to be part of a team and this means she will have to communicate clearly with other team members as well as coaches, referees and children from opposing teams.
Encouraging your child to participate in sport will foster in him a love of physical activity that will remain with him for life. Children who take part in sport are also aware of healthy food choices as they know they have to eat healthy to achieve their sports goals.
Children who are not involved in sport are relatively less physically active and suffer from various ailments like weight issues and obesity.