As a child I loved sport, but I was not allowed to go to the park during the week, therefore I could never wait for school to finish so that I could go kick a ball in our backyard. Fortunately, Dad and Mum loved sports and education, and they would always discuss if it were time for sports or education, though education was the priority.
It was normally an argument between my group of friends whether it would tennis or football the coming weekend. Come Friday afternoon, I would shoot home, get dressed and rush off to the park with either a racket or ball under my arm, knowing that my friends would be waiting eagerly so the match could begin. Unfortunately, before we knew it was time to go back home, but thankfully there was Saturday and Sunday to still play.
Today as both an adult and sports coach, I can absolutely attest that sport is great for physical health and social life. Most of all I maintain that it increases your intelligence as sport helps you to focus and concentrate. There are scientific studies that prove the general benefits of sport for brain functions. These are:
- Inhibitory Control is the ability to screen out the noise in the environment and to help one focus and overcome distraction on what is important like a coach giving verbal instructions.
- Proprioception is the awareness of what is happening in the body. Sport increases proprioception and fine motor control and this all reflect on one’s intelligence.
- Visual Selective Attention is the ability to identify an object, track it visually as it travels through the air so that you can get in front of it and catch it.
- Executive Function can be improved by playing sports, this is the part of the brain that manages impulse control, working and planning memory.
It is not surprising that taking part in sports affects the brain, as brain chemicals play a key role in the cognitive abilities.
Brain chemicals such as dopamine and endorphins are unleashed when playing sport, exercise increases the production of brain-derived neurotrophic function, which is a crucial ingredient to keeping the neurons healthy and create new ones.
Training and playing football contribute to both mental and physical performance and improves the visual discrimination.
Enrolling your children for football training at First Touch can benefit them by improving their cognitive function and provide physical fitness benefits.