Sports is a part of many of our lives, no matter if we participate in it within school organizations or in our free time or dabble in extreme sports. However, have we ever stopped to think about why it is so prevalent within people’s childhoods? Much of the reason why school systems push for children to play sports is that they understand that certain life lessons cannot be taught in the classroom but only through experiencing them. Thus the following includes five of the most important life lessons children learn by playing sports.
Learning How to Behave and Communicate with Others
No matter if a child has five siblings or is an only child, dealing with strangers is a skill that needs to be developed early on. Sports provide that arena where they can practice and hone their communication and behavioral skills.
Let’s take football as an example. The team is simply not going to be successful without being able to communicate with other players and respect the assignment you are given. Although this takes a while to develop, children will benefit greatly from those types of communication skills once they enter college and the workplace.
Diversity and Inclusion
The reality for many children is that they are usually exposed to one certain type of person within their daily lives. Going to school, sitting for 8 hours, and coming back home is simply not going to be enough to teach them about diversity and inclusion. This doesn’t only have to do with a person’s ethnicity but also in terms of skill levels, financial status, and disabilities. Being involved in a team allows children to be exposed to other parts of society, thus helping them develop empathy and destroying common judgments regarding a person with a disability or economic position.
Sacerfice and Preserverance
Perhaps the first thing that children will notice when they begin to play sports is that playing in a real team is not as easy or as fun as playing in their free time. They are going to be confronted with people better than them who are not going to stop the game because they want a re-do or because they are tired. Having all this against them will teach them to preserve against the obstacles that lay before them. During that process, they will also be faced with the concept of sacrifice. Taking the time to practice and get better at the sport means that they may have to say no to hanging out with friends or not staying up too late.
As stated above, children are likely first to notice how difficult playing a real sport is. They will soon notice that they are not going to become better at it if they are not practicing. However, practicing once or twice a week isn’t going to be enough. Thus they will learn about the concept of consistency and how being good at something isn’t something that happens overnight. This skill will absolutely be needed as they enter higher-education courses or they obtain a job where they need to develop their skills to continue to climb the ladder of success.
Parents who enter a child who has had past issues with disrespect are shocked at how well sports can fix that issue. The fact is that when a child is put into a situation where they are not the center of attention, looking for guidance tends to be their first reaction. This is where listening and respecting the wishes of the coach comes in. They learn to respect those in authority as well as learn to be patient when emotions are running high.
As you can see from the information above, there are a large number of life lessons that children can learn from playing sports. Although only five are listed above, there are plenty more life lessons that come with being a part of a team.