Children often learn by example. Some children learn faster than others, some slower. But, children often need to be exposed to all aspects of life, albeit some of them should be sugar-coated, as much as possible. Other aspects of life should be presented as is, because children have a lot to gain from it. Competitive sports are one of those things.
Sports and children have always mixed well, for various reasons to be discussed later. Children love playing sports (most of the time) and with proper instructions, can learn a lot about life through sports. Here is why competitive sports are great for children.
Improvement Takes Effort
When a child loses in a competitive sport, it is usually because they weren’t good enough, as is almost always the case with sports. With encouragement and effort, the child can get better and win their competition next time, whether an actual tournament for children, or a local football match against a friend. In order to get better, achieve your goals and win, whether in a competition or something which is internal and personal, one must apply effort and practice. Competitiveness can be used to teach children an important lesson.
Teamwork is Dreamwork
When playing team sports, it is essential for a child to learn how to apply their own effort and when to pass the duty to others. If a child can learn the limits of their body and mind, they can then translate that knowledge later in life. If you are not an expert mechanic, you should call one to fix your car, rather than potentially damage it. The same goes with sports, if you are not a great striker, pass to your friend with the lightning fast shots. If you are bad at defending, leave it to the bulwark and you stick to your strengths, passing. Learning their own limits and how to make use of others’ strengths can be taught through competitive sports.
Not only can a child learn about life, but they can also get better physically. Hand to eye coordination, or in sports which include legs and balls, hand to leg coordination, can be taught through sports. One must adapt and learn how to control the ball, and at the same time be aware of their own presence on a field and that of their opponents. That takes considerable coordination, something which can be taught at a young age through competitive sports.
Taking a Loss
Losing is an inevitable part of competitiveness and one will almost always be exposed to it. Losing also happens in life, although not in the same sense.
The important lesson which can be taught here is that losing doesn’t mean everything is over, only that you have things to work on in order to improve and make things better next time.
Competitive sports are great for children (and for adults), for many reasons, as well as those mentioned above. Consider this if your child is spending too much time in docility.