Sport is a very large part of British culture and it all begins from the moment a child gets their very first ball or sports shirt. Aside from sport being a highly social affair, there are many other benefits you can reap from it, and for children, these are an important part of their childhood. Let’s take a look at some of the benefits your child could have from participating in a team sport.
Team Sports Build Strong Relationships
A benefit of team sport is that it enables bonding, and eventually strong relationships with peers. The amount of time spent together is an essential factor when it comes to building relationships with others and, in sport, there is a lot of it! From commuting on long journeys, to training together to the actual matches, children spend a lot of time with each other. In these formative years, it’s good practice to learn how to get on with others and build up trust for later in life. The support you have from each other is something that cannot be substituted, and these skills are carried on into later life, on and off the field!
Team Sports Build Better Health
We’re not oblivious to the blatant shift in childhood activities in the 21st century. From television, internet and the impressive advancement in video games, everything is at our finger tips. These aren’t negative activities at all, but the availability of them paired with our fear of the unknown outside could lead our children to live a more sedentary lifestyle than perhaps they would have previously. There is absolutely nothing wrong with having interests that don’t require much physical movement, as mental stimulation is just as important. However, when children get to play in a team sport, not only are they being social and learning life skills, they are also brushing off their barely formed cobwebs, keeping their body healthy. It’s no secret that exercise supports the health and growth of the heart, lungs and bones, and also helps children develop agility, balance and co-ordination. From a mental health point of view, exercise relieves stress, as does having a laugh with friends!
Team Sports Helps Parents Learn how to Support Their Children
Team sports at school don’t just benefit the children. They can provide a crucial learning curve for parents in terms of providing their children with support, encouragement, and raising morale. When you’re young, events such as ‘the big match’ will feel like the most important thing in the world, and to them, it truly is! There is so much invested when the big day comes and that extra support from parents is crucial for children to know they have cheerleaders and unconditional love. It might seem heavy for something as small as a sports match, but your attitude towards your children at the most important times in their life will stay with them, and demonstrates that they have your trust and support when the bigger things crop up.
Team Sports Teach that Life can be Tough Sometimes
As adults, we already know that life isn’t fair and, sometimes, it can throw some really hard times at us. Children, we hope, aren’t quite aware how hard things can get, as we spend a lot of time and energy trying to manage damage. That being said, it’s a lesson we begin to learn from the moment we are born. When it comes to school sports though, a ref might decide something was “out” when in the parent’s opinion it is very much “in”. For children, it’s a bitter pill to swallow; however, it teaches them an important lesson that sometimes there are things we cannot change. That being said, voicing your opinion when you think something is wrong is admirable, and these harmless events are something that teaches your children consequence, and what is worth them!
Here at St Peter’s Prep, we wholeheartedly encourage team sport. There are so many benefits, and children having fun is one of them! Request a prep school prospectus or join one of our open days to find out more!