How to break barriers with sports?
With Arthur Ashe Kids’ Day just around the corner, we at #NDF are thinking of all the reasons why sport is important for your child’s development and well-being.
Arthur Ashe Kids’ Day is the largest single day tennis and entertainment event in the world. It celebrates the life and values of a tennis legend Arthur Ashe, the first African American to win singles titles at Wimbledon, US Open and Australian Open, and a firm believer in furthering social causes.
Because of him, this day is not all about entertainment and tennis, but it is also a symbol of instilling the right set of values in a child, equipping them with patience, determination, teamwork, tenacity, and a strong work ethic. It is about stressing the importance of sports and positive sports role models that will motivate them to lead healthy lifestyle and stay active.
Through great music, world’s best tennis players and interactive games, children are being introduced to a whole new perspective of looking at sport.
What are the benefits of playing sports?
Sport gives children the opportunity to be physically active and develop a healthy lifestyle. It improves their coordination and balance, betters their sleep, reduces sedentary time, risk of obesity, and teaches them the importance of quality eating, among other things.
It also provides various emotional benefits, especially when they are shown and introduced to positive images in sport, such as Serena Williams, Novak Djokovic, Rafael Nadal, Roger Federer and David Wagner (world No.1 wheelchair tennis player). These players are breaking barriers of how an athlete is pictured. They are showing that apart from sports, they also have other interests: humanitarian, creative, entrepreneurial… All these athletes will leave a legacy and they are great examples of sportsmanship.
What will children be able to learn from these athletes and through participation in sports?
- Determination: in order to win, one must also know how to lose. For someone to be successful in what they do, one has to work very hard.
- Patience: No one can be No.1 without being patient. Not all hard work gets rewarded. Sometimes you have to continue to work hard until you break the surface and become who you are meant to be.
- Discipline: In order to perform well, it is important to eat healthy, exercise often, rest and have a good sleep.
- Self esteem and confidence: By participating in sports, children get the feeling of accomplishment; of having achieved something that they and their families can be proud of, which in turns leads to them having a good opinion about themselves. A positive sports person as a role model will also encourage them and motivate them to excel.
Children who participate in sports also learn various social skills such as team work, respect for your opponent, respect for rules of the game, responsibility to your team, the importance of everyone doing their part in order for a team to be successful; taking directions from a coach, gaining ability to adapt to various situations and more.
As you can see, all of these benefits that one gains through participation in sports can be applied in everyday life. Your child does not need to be an athlete in order to be considered successful, but the traits they will gain through being introduced to sports early on, will help them pursue their other interests with more tenacity, patience, hard work and understanding that they might not have gained otherwise.
The athletic prowess is not the only path to success. But sport is and should be a strong factor in shaping the child.
How do you view sports in a child’s development? What are your experiences? Leave your comments in the section below, we love to read them.
Featured Photo: lev radin/Shutterstock