The life lessons your children will learn from organized sports are invaluable. Kids are taught how to actively partake in team building exercises, while learning the value of participation, goal setting, and responsibility. Concepts such as competition and commitment are instilled in children, allowing them to carry some of those lessons with them for the rest of their lives. Below is a list of some important developmental characteristics kids are taught when partaking in team sports and activities.
Socializing and Getting Along with Others
Kids of different backgrounds are often put together in the same teams. Children who go to different schools, or live in different towns are placed together to learn and grow. Team sports foster social behavior among kids, despite any differences between them. Interacting with kids of different personalities or skills, and social or ethnic backgrounds provides kids with invaluable life lessons they can carry with them well into adulthood. Kristin Chessman of She Knows suggests enrolling kids into organized sports in order to foster in them an understanding of diversity.
Winning isn’t everything, but it is important. Life is somewhat about competition. In competition, an individual either wins or loses. Placing kids in an environment where they can potentially feel the euphoria of winning, or the heartbreak of losing is important for character development. If children hope to compete and succeed, they will inevitably need to understand how important effort is in order to achieve their goals.
Hard Work and Dedication
Once your children are a bit older, they’ll realize that it is difficult to succeed without hard work. Kids eventually realize that hard work can make them play and perform better on and off the pitch, court, or rink. Developing a hunger for success can only be created by understanding that goals are met with exceptional effort. Participation is simply not enough.
It’s in kids’ nature to feel entitled – especially when it comes to fun. Nothing is a more entitlement-breaking experience than having to sit on the bench during games. In organized sports, children learn a very difficult lesson: kids with more skill naturally earn more playing time. According to Annette Christiansen of Education Week, the concept of earning playtime is a difficult, but absolutely necessary lesson. This will push kids to practice and work harder in order to achieve their goals.
Organized sports presents an array of problems that require millisecond decision making. Observing the manner in which another team plays, and adapting to that style is an important manner in which kids learn on the field. Figuring out how to defend against certain attacks, or how to penetrate an opponent’s defense allows kids to apply problem solving skills in competitions. This stirs kids to use creativity to solve problems as well.
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