The best lessons in life are not just learned in classrooms; playgrounds and gymnasiums have proved to be equally as good as classrooms and sometimes even better when it comes to learning. There is a place for bookwork; I agree that every child must go to school to get formal education, but this does not mean they need to be kept locked within the four walls. Most of the lessons I have learned over the years have come from the world of sports, both playing and watching. Below are a number of lessons your children can learn just from participation in sports.
How to communicate
When your child undergoes a tough time, the first instinct as a parent is to try and wade into the situation. When your child engages in sports, he will meet people from different walks of life that will enable him to widen his communication abilities. Team sports such as football is more about communication than just moving around with the ball. This includes both verbal and nonverbal communication. Players seem to know what the fellow team colleagues and opponents think even without talking. In a team, your child will learn how to read other people’s emotions and how to handle them.
Build character and reputation
In sports there is always a winner or a loser; it is naturally competitive. This means that one person goes with the trophy. The question is; what does the rest go with? Sports does not reward everyone with trophies and medals, but when the winner gets the trophies, the others build character.
Discipline, perseverance, delayed gratification, selflessness, courage, honesty and integrity are among some of the qualities that define great sportsmen. A mixture of these can only result in one thing: great character. Sports is a great means through which your child can build a great character.
One of the ingredients of failure is lack of goals; your child can avoid falling into a lot of failures just by learning how to set his own goals. Goals include short term and long term, depending on what he wants to achieve. Naturally, sports come with both. As a team, goals are set for the week, month, half season and full season. There is a level that the coach wants his team to reach by the end of a given time. If your child is part of such a program, this helps him know the importance of setting goals.
The other way your child will learn how to set goals is by knowing what he wants to achieve as a person. At the beginning, teams set goals for individual players based on their roles in the team; at the end of the day, the coach wants to see progress. This calls for discipline and hard work. Over time, a child learns to start setting his own goals. If this is instilled in him at a tender age, it will stay with him for the rest of his life, turning him into an achiever.