Unsung praises of sport
The benefits of physical activity are widely acknowledged, but sport offers several non-physical advantages for health and development. Here are some benefits of sport that extend beyond exercise.
Sport enhances social skills
Communication and social skills learned on the sports field will be used by your child throughout his/her life. During sport, kids learn to interact with their friends, other kids they haven’t met before, and their coach or teacher. They learn how to work as part of a team, and enjoy being part of a bigger unit, which builds camaraderie.
Sport makes kids smarter
Yes, you read right. Cognitive development is enhanced through sport, and children who play organised sport often do better at school, and have improved concentration, attention and memory.
Sport boosts self-esteem
Children who play sport are less vulnerable to poor confidence or a low self-esteem. A high five from a friend, a handshake from the coach or a pat on the back from a parent goes a lot further than one might think when it comes to building confidence. Kids who play sport are also more resilient, and they know that there will be wins and losses, but that the focus should be on persevering with one’s goals, and having fun throughout the process.
Sport improves mental health
Youngsters who regularly play sport are less likely to suffer from anxiety and depression, and less likely to abuse drugs. The psychological benefits of sport may occur due to the endorphins released during physical activity and/or the feeling of being socially involved and part of a team.
Sport makes parents’ lives easier
Let the kids release some of their frustrations on the sports field, so that you can enjoy a happy and relaxed child at home. Kids learn to control their emotions and respect authority when playing sport – two things that will certainly make parents’ lives easier!
The information in this article is intended for general purposes only. If you have any concerns about your health or the health of your child, you should always consult with a healthcare professional.