If someone asks me, which is my favorite childhood memory? My answer is clear and easy – playing full day during the summer holidays with my friends. Just playing any game outside in the fresh air gives pure satisfaction to me. I am 100% sure you guys already know that playing outdoor or playing a sport is helpful in child development, but in what ways? In this article, we give you the top 5 benefits of sports for children.
In this article you'll learn about
- Why playing sports for children should be compulsory?
- How parents can help kids in sports?
- How Sports have a positive impact on kids’ lives?
Why playing sports for children should be compulsory?
Yeah, it sounds odd and bossy but playing sports for kids until the age of 12 should be made mandatory in any of the following – Schools, Home, Community centre. It has to be compulsory because if given a choice, kids are smart enough to switch to mobile phones for games or YouTube or watch TV all day. Watching YouTube, playing computer games, or watching TV is going to put a lot of tension on their eyes, which is not good.
The Bluelight emitted from the LED screens damages our eyes significantly. A Japanese study found that children who watch a lot of TV or for prolonged hours have a damaged brain structure. The researchers said that this alteration in the brain structure affects IQ and verbal abilities. Watching too much TV also distracts the kids from their studies because they keep on thinking about the cartoons they watch. This harms their studies and school life.
Our body, our exoskeleton is like an advanced machine. Hence it needs regular movements or else there will be setbacks even in its basic functions. For eg, a person who hasn’t played any sport since childhood or hasn’t done any exercise will have obstacles even while extending or leaning down.
How parents can help kids in sports?
Parents play a significant role in making their kids love a certain sport. Choose your words and your actions carefully – they can make or break your kid’s interest in a sport. Some of them are as follows:
- First and foremost, make them understand that it is okay to lose. They don’t always have to win. Even the Avengers failed the first time they tried to defeat Thanos. But they learned from their blunders and attacked back stronger than ever. This is the message that should be engraved in every kid out there that it is okay to lose and it isn’t the end of the world. Learn from the mistakes you made in the past game or match and improve upon them.
- Don’t try to use reverse psychology. They are too young to understand all this. Just keep it understandable and easy. If they perform well convey it as it is. Don’t compare it to someone else’s performance.
- Make them understand that you are okay with however they perform and you encourage them no matter what. It is also necessary for you as parents to keep in mind that your kids can have different dreams and goals. Don’t try to influence them to serve your ego.
How Sports have a positive impact on kids’ lives?
Sports or exercise have been a component of human evolution. Right from when we were apes we have been doing physical exercise in some way or the other. I believe that physical exercise and the need to play is coded in our DNA. As seasons have passed, younger generations have more options for entertainment, an option to pass their time just sitting in one place. Sports and games get sidelined as the primary source of entertainment between kids. There are a lot of opinions about why sports benefit children and should be the primary source of entertainment. We have listed out a few of these down below.
Sports for children boost physical development.
- Muscle & Bone development Everyone of you who is into any kind of fitness knows how muscles are strengthened. When you work your muscles out, the muscle is weakened. With adequate nutrition, these muscles restore and become more potent. This happens every time we play a sport. Multiple muscle groups are worked out, making scope for faster growth and development in children. As muscles develop, the bones get stronger and bigger.
- Increased Stamina: A lot of adults have lower lung capacity. The reason is our sedentary lifestyle. Think about it, your child does nothing but goes to school, studies and watches TV all day. You guys go out on a family picnic. The picnic spot is just up a hill. While climbing up you and your child start panting halfway up at the same time. It is just awkward and embarrassing. Sports and exercises increase your lung capacity by a large margin.
- Increased Blood Circulation: When we play or exercise, our body need more energy than usual. For burning this energy we need more oxygen, so we start breathing more frequently. This oxygen needs to be delivered to all parts of our body. The heart then starts pumping more blood to all organs and body parts which increases the blood circulation throughout the body.
- Improved posture: Every sport demands a certain level of physical strength and fitness. You must have observed before playing all the players do ‘Warm-up Exercise & stretching’. These exercises help in making the muscles accustomed to the motions and also to increase one’s core strength. Easy exercises like jumping jacks, push-ups, pull-ups, sprints, squats can enhance your child’s posture.
- Improves Understanding: Sports is a fantastic platform where kids get to know their teammates or their friends. It kind of creates an unspoken bond between them, where they become each other’s coaches.
- Communicate without words: Sports like table tennis, badminton, cricket have times where the players convey messages or understand what their teammate will do without any spoken words. This is a really valuable skill that comes handy later in life for eg, in meetings, at social gatherings, etc.
- Teamwork: There is nothing more fruitful than teamwork. This is probably the most important lesson that one should take away from any sport. We have always been taught to work as a team or function as a team since childhood. The reason is simple, it creates a bond between the team & everyone learns from each other.
- Discipline: Disciplined kids are a rare sight. Children are meant to have fun and be mischievous but it should have a limit. Discipline not only means behaving in a way that is acceptable to society but following a routine or set of steps towards the goal you want to achieve.
- Focus: Kids who play any kind of sport are more focused on their studies, school & in general. They start building a habit of working hard and making efforts to win or achieve something. This habit also spreads into their daily life and in their studies.
Sports Builds Confidence
Have you ever seen a sportsman who isn’t confident? Yeah, some are shy in front of the camera but that doesn’t mean they are not bold. Confidence can be seen in the walk, their presence on the field, their command on the sport, etc. Sports encourages children to be more outspoken and it exposes them to different environments. Performing in competitions, in front of an audience helps in improving the confidence of children.
Sports improve Leadership Skills in children
If you ask your kid right now, what are the qualities of a leader? he/she might get a few correct. They might have learned this in school or might have observed on the playground or how you lead the family. Leadership skills are most improved in team sports. If your team is losing or not performing well, you will try everything to boost their morale and get their spirits up.
Sports teaches children Time management
Once your kid gets into sports and starts playing them on a competitive level. Time becomes more valuable to them, they want to make most of their day. Giving time to studies, school, friends & the sport they love is more important to them. They learn to prioritize things and work towards achieving them. This habit becomes helpful in later life.
I hope you found this article helpful and informative. The importance of sports for children is far beyond the points we mentioned i.e.
- Physical Benefits.
- Social & Psychological Benefits.
- Building Confidence.
- Improving Leadership skills
- Time management.
If you have any more reasons that we might have missed in this article, let us know in the comment section and we will be glad to add it up. We all know kids need physical activity. You’ll have to figure out a way to make it compulsory for your kid. It is for their good.
Stay tuned for our next article, till then live a Jolly Good Life :).
We have written an article about how kids can play their favorite sports indoor check it out here: 14 World Sports you can bring indoor for your kids.