Clearly I am a big fan of keeping active! I enjoy a wide range of activities including running, cycling and the odd obstacle course race amongst other things. I believe that being active is important for the whole family which is why I was delighted when my daughters inherited my love of sports and athletics. Both take part in local events; enjoy getting out and about and my eldest runs for Watford Athletic Club.
One of the things I love to see is the way that being active and taking part in events and sports has strengthened many of their (and other children’s) skills. Here are just a few ways in which my children have benefited from being active and taking part in sporting / athletic events. There’s no reason why your children can’t do the same.
Taking part in any team or even solo events is a great way to boost confidence. Learning a sport, building your skills, succeeding and seeing yourself grow or get better at something will of course result in a boost of confidence. The same is true for children when they start enjoying athletic pursuits.
Whether you win or lose, being courteous to the other team, your competitor and/or others taking part in the event is a must and this is something that is learnt through experience and the teaching that comes from parents and those involved in children’s events such as coaches. These skills start to develop very early on and continuing to nurture them as children grow is important.
Communication and Social Skills
Team sports and group events are brilliant when it comes to encouraging children to communicate with each other, be that from listening to and reacting to instructions, problem solving, encouraging each other, celebrating or commiserating with each other or simply enjoying the camaraderie that comes with being with people with the same or similar interests to you.
Working Together / Problem Solving
Whether they are orienteering, working out the best way to get around an obstacle course, are playing football or some other physically challenging activity children soon learn to work together, to find the best ways to achieve something and to support each other. These skills are so important out in the real world and children will go far if they have these under their belts.
Of course the key benefits of being active as a child are the physical ones. With child obesity growing worldwide to unprecedented levels and children’s activity levels dropping as they are occupied by digital distractions many health professionals are voicing concerns. Children who enjoy a range of physical activities will generally speaking be healthier and of course learning to become active and enjoy exercise as a child often leads to children continuing these hobbies and interests into adulthood.
In short there are many very good reasons to encourage children to take part in sports and similar, not least because they are bound to have a fantastic time doing them!