Sport is not just good for children’s bodies, it is great for their minds too, it teaches them important life skills. Organized sport has many social and psychological benefits for children even more than the physical activity play during the day. Children benefit from the social side of being in a team and the involvement with other children and adults.
Sport goes beyond learning new physical skills, it helps children cope with the highs and lows of life. Playing sport teaches children to learn how to lose, being a good loser takes maturity and practice and it teaches children to bounce back from disappointment, to cope with unpleasant experiences which is an important part of becoming resilient.
Sport helps children to learn to control their emotions and channel negative feelings is a more positive way. Another point is that sport helps children to develop patience and the understanding that it can take a lot of practice to improve both their physical skills and what they do in school.
Activities stimulates the chemicals in the brain to make them feel better, playing sport regularly, improves a child’s overall emotional wellbeing. There is a link between playing sport and self-esteem, a kind word from their coach, team support or achieving their personal best will help a child to feel better about themselves.
Social skills that children need in life also improves as sport teaches children to listen to other children and to be less selfish. It gives a child the sense of belonging and help them make new friends and builds their social circle outside school. One of the most important parts of playing in a team is accepting discipline, playing sport means your child is expected to follow rules, accept decisions and to understand that they could be penalised for their bad behaviour. Sport teaches children to take directions from their coach, referees, and other adults.
As a parent you are important in your child’s role in sports, you need to try keep them interested and enjoying sport by making it a positive experience. Focusing on having fun, going out and being active rather than winning or losing.
Overall, when children are engaged in activities that align with their interests, their psycho-social development is enhanced. Children not only learn a variety of useful skills, they can express themselves, grow into adulthood with an authentic set of values and characteristics and go on a journey of self-discovery.