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Developing life skills through sport

[dropcap]W[/dropcap]hether your child is playing on a competitive baseball team, or a recreational soccer league, just being in an athletic environment with some friendly competition is a game changer when it comes to developing life skills.

The skills learned on the playing field can translate into lifelong skills that will help your son or daughter long after graduation. As an added bonus, young athletes will have a lot of fun at the same time.

The act of sport can help children learn about the following:

Leadership and Teamwork

Playing an organized sport is an excellent way to learn about cooperation, collaboration and accountability. Whether the role is captain or team member, all players must work together towards a common goal. There is also great satisfaction and camaraderie from being part of a team.

Social Skills

In sport, much like real life, you don’t have the luxury of picking who is on your team or whom you ultimately report to. Students learn to work together, side-by-side, regardless of whether they’re friends with their teammates. They learn to respect and listen to their captain and coach, even if they don’t necessarily see eye to eye. In post-secondary life and the working world, working in teams is a reality.

Discipline and Commitment

Playing any individual or team sport requires practice and dedication to reach personal and group goals. Sacrifices are often made, including early wake-up calls and missed social engagements.

Maintaining an Active Lifestyle

Making fitness, nutrition and exercise part of your child’s life from a young age helps encourage them to lead a healthy and balanced life.  The goal is that this active lifestyle will continue into adult years.

Learning to Brush it Off

Although the goal may be “play to win,” athletes are taught from a very young age how to live with disappointment. Likewise, there are times when kids need to accept constructive feedback and criticism to grow and reach their personal best.

So the next time your child squawks at the 6am wake-up call, remember that there’s a method to the madness.

 

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Joanne Sallay

Joanne Sallay is a Director at Teachers on Call, a personalized home tutoring service with more than 25 years of experience. Teachers on Call’s Ontario Certified Teachers specialize in providing one-on-one instruction in all subjects and grades including French Immersion tutoring.

For further information about Teachers on Call, please visit: www.teachersoncall.ca
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