Many of us take our children to sports activities for them to be active and to escape the lure of the TV and iPad. The good news is that they are learning far more than the rules and tactics when playing for a team. There are important life lessons learnt by playing a team sport - and you get to have fun with your friends whilst learning them.
When playing in a team - you learn leadership skills as well as how to work within a team. You appreciate each other's strengths and how without them your team wouldn't be the same. Friendships grow through every win and defeat and your teammates become your best friends.
Discipline & Respect:
Playing sports teaches children commitment. Commitment to training, to working hard, to support and work hard for your teammates. As well as the respect we learn towards our teammates, we learn to respect our opposition, our coaches and the officials - learning how to deal with authority and following the rules.
It doesn't feel good when you are struggling to keep up with a game or your opponent. By playing sport from a young age, children are taught to look after themselves and this becomes a habit, a lifestyle choice that isn't consciously made - I want to play well and so need to train and eat well. It especially gives girls a healthy concept of body image in an increasingly pressured society - to be strong and healthy.
Decision making and Strategies
During a match you are constantly making decisions and implementing strategies - who to pass the ball to, should I shoot now or take on the player, man to man marking or a zone, which player is causing the damage and how do we stop them? These decisions need to be made quickly and in a pressured environment; the strategies implemented sometimes work and sometimes need to abandoned for another plan - valuable lessons for a competitive workplace.
Learning to deal with Disappointment:
Children achieve success within the classroom with the formula of work hard and you will achieve good grades. Sport is different - you can be at every training session and put up every shot, but still lose as your opponent is just better on the day. Sport teaches us to deal with disappointment, to deal with defeat and to look at what went wrong and to improve for next time. Sport will give children confidence not to be afraid of the competition.