One can list plenty of reasons why your child should be playing sports, whether competitively or otherwise. And these are not just the usual ones about improving their health and fitness!
Of course, sports such as tennis, badminton, football and swimming primarily make children fitter. But there are so many other fantastic ways in which these sports activities pay off; ways that you’d have probably never even thought about.
Here are 4 powerful ways in which sports help to shape your children’s lives and futures, something we as parents, should all be consciously aware of.
- Health, Fitness & Longevity
The Aspen Institute’s Project Play findings suggest that regular sports helped children have healthier bones, muscles and joints. Playing sports also helped kids in controlling weight and preventing the development of obesity and blood pressure related illnesses. Simplistically put, sporty kids were fitter, healthier, more agile and less prone to chronic illnesses.
On the mental front, MRI’s of kids who played regular sports such as lawn tennis, table tennis, squash, basketball and even swimming showed them to have higher neuro-electric activity in their brains – in other words, sports even made kids smarter! Kids who played sports score up to 40 percent higher in school exams; and that’s incentive enough for most Indian parents, no?!
So if you were ever on the fence about that ‘badminton coaching for kids’ ad in the newspaper, or not yet fully convinced on the advantages of sports coaching, it is time to read up on that detailed study here. You’ll definitely be taking your kid’s swimming lessons more seriously thereafter, we assure you.
- Vital Life-Skills
Consider this. If you thought that the benefits of table tennis for children could only be seen in the child’s physical appearance, you couldn’t be more wrong. Those table tennis classes also teach your child to concentrate. They teach your child the advantages of hard work and perseverance, and more importantly, the importance of consistent and persistent efforts despite losses, injuries and any other curveball that comes your child’s way.
In other words, sports help in building confidence. Sports give children the rare opportunity to find their own personalized solutions to personal problems. Being an active Sportsperson conditions children to be active problem solvers, rather than passive complainers.
Team sports such as cricket and football teach kids how to be team players; how to approach, retain and bond with people; and even about finding dignity in losses while keeping the pride of winnings at bay.
These, as we all know by now, are very important life skills. These valuable skills can rarely be taught in classrooms. These skills come through tough life experiences, the kind that come automatically to children who are exposed to sports at early ages.
- Work Life Balance
Physically active children are mentally stronger and psychologically fitter. They are much less likely to fall into the grips of depression, or fall prey to other such hidden threats. This is simply because sports offer them better work life balance. For example, the stress of examinations and studies can be substantially reduced by swimming laps in those temperature controlled swimming pools. The frustration of a tough class can be easily overcome in that one hour well spent at your indoor badminton court.
The fun, laughter and sweat from sports offers a great mental and physical diversion not just to young kids, but also to adults. Unless the quality of your child’s sports coaching is poor, making it an additional stress factor instead of a healthy emotional and physical outlet, sports is the safest, most beneficial therapy for all kids.
- Viable Career Option
Sadly, Indian parents often need to learn this the hard way, but acing their studies is not the only way for your children to have secure futures and healthy careers. Sports is a very viable and real career option available to talented kids now, and your child need not necessarily be a prodigy either.
Thanks to those televised IPL auctions, we all know how much those IPL cricketers now earn, just for being a part of the franchise where they may or may not even be a part of the playing 11. Apart from the money they make from the games they play, the brand endorsements of Saina Nehwal, Mary Kom, PV Sindhu and others are also quite substantial.
Of course, not everyone can be a Sachin, on that we all agree. But considering the number of indoor sports arenas that have popped up everywhere, India is definitely opening itself up to considering sports as a genuine option for your child’s future. So, considering these newly available options seriously is and should be the real responsibility of us parents.
(For more information about Kid’s Coaching for Swimming/Sports, Please contact: 8929500351)
Content Credits: Sayali Bedekar Patil