I’m a fan of letting kids participate in sports. Actually, I’m a fan of everyone participating in sports. Whether you play on softball team, golf with your friends, or study (my favorite) the martial arts, I think participating in sports is a part of a healthy lifestyle.
The benefits of sports go beyond the physical. While your kids are working out their bodies and socializing with their peers, they’re also learning some valuable life skills. Here are three.
Sports are just a series of challenges your children will be forced to face in a controlled environment. It’s more than just learning to kick the ball straight or run down the court the fastest. Your child will learn how to deal with people in an adversarial setting without being mean or cruel. He’ll learn how to take his practice sessions seriously, even when he’s working with his close friends. He’ll have to measure himself against his competitors and find ways to improve himself. He’ll also have to humble himself before a coach and learn to use criticisms.
These types of challenges will present themselves in different ways throughout his life, in his personal and professional relationships. Instead of running from a challenge, your child will find ways to overcome it.
Goals are an important part of any type of improvement. Whether you’re looking to advance your career, save up money, get in shape, or better yourself in any other way, you need to set goals. Once a goal is established, you can create and enact the steps to get there.
Sports stress goal setting all the time. Maybe your child will have to run an extra quarter mile, practice the play ten more times, lift another set, or beat his average score. When your child meets his own goal and enjoys the rush that comes with it, he’ll be inspired to keep pushing. That confidence that builds will bleed into other aspects of his life.
One of the greatest lessons a sport will ever teach is the ability to lose. A person can’t be successful without losing. The most successful people in the world (at sports, business, family, or whatever else) can point to a long line of failures behind them. Each failure taught them something and each time they picked themselves up faster than the time before.
In sports, your child will learn how to lose, how to gracefully congratulate the winner, and find ways to improve. He’ll brush off the feelings of rejection and anxiety that most people feel after a failure and get right back in the saddle.
Written by Kim Webb, CEO and Founder of Rockin’ Green Soap
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