I couldn’t wait to go to training during the week and couldn’t wait for the weekend to go to either nippers or play football. It was fun and I enjoyed making new friends.
Forward on a few years (well quite a few years) and I am now encouraging my kids to play or participate in some sort of sporting activity. Thankfully (and possibly it is due to my continued interest in sport) I don’t have to encourage my kids too much to get involved in sport.
All of my kids do swimming (either lessons or training based on their age), and my two eldest play football in the winter and go to nippers in the summer.
They all seem to enjoy it just as I did when I was young however I am sure, and again just like me when I was young, they don’t realise they are building life skills that will hopefully stay with them forever.
So what are some of these life skills I think kids develop when playing sport?
Making an effort and not giving up
Whether they are running on the beach or running on a football field, it requires effort and when they are tired or their motivation drops, they keep on going;
Playing in a team develops communication skills, learning how to compromise and playing with and for team mates;
Learning how to win and lose
It’s not so much the win or the loss, it’s the fact that in life you have wins and you have losses and it’s how you deal with these events;
Sport requires practice, training and playing to develop and improve. This takes work and the harder you practice, train and play, the better you become.
The requirement of training and playing sport requires not only the discipline of turning up, it requires the discipline of turning up at certain times, turning up so as to not let your team mates down, and turning up ready to put in your best performance.
These traits not only stay with you from purely a sport point of view, they also translate into the other parts of your life, including your work life and your family life.
And that’s why I still look forward to weekends, not just to watch my kids play sport, but also to watch them develop as people.