9 reasons why children should play sports
Physical activity is a must in children’s everyday routine. For a child, it is mandatory at school doing more good than harm. Getting your child involved in sports is a great way to develop fitness at a young age and embedded in their system for the future. Sport is vital for children’s physical wellbeing. It is necessary for the development of neural and brain function. Children who are fit sleep better, enjoy themselves and others more than their unfit peers, are more resilient, emotionally balanced and creative. The better question is, why don’t we encourage children to play more sport?
Sport improves fitness for life. It builds up immunity and reduces the risk of diseases. Research has also proven that active kids are likely to grow into physically active adults and will continue this for life, even if the types of movement changes.
2. Social Developmen
Involvement in physical activity and sports gets kids to interact with people at all levels. In sport children are involved in teamwork, communication, build leadership skills, learn to follow instructions and build respect and relationships with teachers and coaches that become mentors.
3. Gain Confidence, Self Awareness and Self-Esteem
Coaches encourage their students at all levels to push their boundaries in terms of performance. Feedback from their coach or parents is often enough for children to try again, concentrate or focus harder. Corrective feedback that contains well-structured advice boosts the morale of young children.
4. Active Academics
Playing a sport of any kind helps to improve the cognitive or thinking skills of a child. Sport requires determination, dedication and perseverance to achieve a goal. Sport improve brain and nerve development. Aerobic activity speeds the development of brand new brain cells. These cells are like a blank page, and the brain adapts them to those areas where brain cells are more used. Focus, balance, social interaction and understanding rules and boundaries of play help kids learn and recall information. Increasing blood flow to the brain improve brain nutrition and enhances neural function with increased oxygen to brain cells. Studies show children who are good in sports do well in academics as they concentrate better.
5. Respect Boundaries
All sport is played within a framework of rules. Discipline is vitally important while playing a game, and children who find it hard to follow directions, benefit from a sports activity. Taking instructions, following directions and accepting the decision by the referee develop self, social and team discipline in a child.
6. Balancing Emotions and Mood
Daily stress leads to a hormonal imbalance, a precursor to negative social behaviours. Sport increases the build up of serotonin, dopamine and oxytocin, chemicals known as hormones that make us feel good. Increasing levels of these hormones stamp out the negative effects of stress hormones such as cortisols, which are removed by increased blood flow to all cells. Coaches are trained to positively divert that negative energy towards achieving a goal, developing patience in their sports participants.
7. Replace Anti-Social Activities
Anti-social activities like smoking, drugs or negative cyber bullying are often the result of too much time, not enough respect. Being involved in sports helps children focus on other activities and learn of the effects on their body and sporting performance.
8. Self Discipline
Self control or discipline leads to bad choices based on a fear of missing out (FOMO) or lack of acceptance by their peers. Playing a sport requires discipline as it involves regular practice session at timed intervals. Children learn the importance of following a routine and discipline themselves to follow the same.
9. Confidence Booster
Children who play a sport show higher levels of confidence than those who do not. There is a sense of achievement involved when playing a sport which serves as a confidence booster that carries into other areas of children’s lives.
Your child need not excel in sports, but by playing or being involved in a sport, he could grow up to be a fine individual with an affable personality.
Scientific evidence and your own anecdotal experiences are surely all the proof you need that simply getting kids together for any activity that involves physical effort is beneficial for their development. Parents, teachers and coaches working together in encouraging sporting activities, develop a healthy child with an equally active mind.
“If exercise were a pill, I’d be a billionaire.”