4 Life lessons your kids can learn through sports
There's more to kids playing sports than just burning off energy and staying fit. Team sports offer an excellent opportunity for kids to learn and even master all sorts of important life skills--skills that will benefit them not only during their school years, but well into adulthood as well. Sports expose many children to a variety of social situations from which they can learn a number of lessons that they will carry with them as they continue to grow and learn. Important lessons, that all of us will have to learn at some point. Keep reading to learn which valuable lessons your kids can learn from sports.
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Teamwork makes a dream work. One of the most important--and most obvious--benefits of playing a sport is learning how to work as a team. Even in more individualistic sports like track and wrestling, there's a team aspect involved, since each individual's performance contributes to the reputation and success of the entire group. Learning how to work with people who may be different--especially those you may clash with--is an invaluable skill, that will get your child through any number of tense situations once he reaches adulthood, particularly in the workforce. Knowing that you'll always be expected to pull your weight and even some extra when a teammate needs a boost, is something that will come in handy with siblings, with a spouse and with co-workers.
Winning isn't everything. No one wins all the time. For kids that are very talented and/or very smart, that first failure or loss can be utterly diminishing, especially in adulthood. But any kid that plays sports will eventually be subjected to a loss and will have to learn how to bounce back from it. They'll have to come to understand that even if they give their very best every single time and work hard to become better at what they do, they'll lose sometimes and that's okay as long as they keep at it. It's a reality check, but it's good one to have while you still have the built-in support system of an entire team, including coaches and parents.
Commitment in the face of obstacles. Not every child is going to be naturally talented in their chosen sport, but not allowing your child to give up immediately (if they still don't like it after a full season, by all means let it go), will teach them that despite any obstacles they may face, they have to learn to commit to the task at hand. When they grow up and get married, they won't be able to give up just because marriage is harder than they thought it would be. If a project at work is outside of their comfort zone, they won't get to pass it off to someone else. Better they learn early that instead of quitting, they should stay the course and give every challenge their all.
Always be a good sport. And of course, sports have a great capacity to teach your child some humility. No one likes a poor sport. In sports, your kids should learn to support their teammates, to accept official judgments, to respect others and to appreciate the efforts of everyone involved rather than just themselves or their team, which are important values to have in every aspect of life.
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