We love cricket! We are a secular country, but cricket is our religion! We are passionate about cricket. WATCHING cricket. Traditionally, when it comes to actually prioritizing the “playing” of a sport by our children, we are not so much gung ho. But thanks to rising stars like Saina Nehwal, Sania Mirza and Kashyap, slowly we’ve been witnessing a lot of families give equal importance to playing sports as well.
Here are 5 reasons why playing an organized sport is important for your children.
1. Reducing risk of Obesity: Today, with increased engagement in television viewing, video games and smart devices, children are just not compelled to go outside the house to entertain themselves. They are perfectly happy to veg away on the couch with a device in hand. Into this mix when we add the plethora of instant, over processed and ready to eat junk food, it is no wonder that childhood obesity is on the rise. Hence, it becomes important to get your child into a sport to ward off this problem.
2. Boosts Academics: Research has shown that taking up a sport is not JUST about physical fitness. It has been proven to enhance the brain’s ability to process information, enhance memory and concentration and improve academic performance of children. Certain studies showed how children’s math scores improved by being engaged in sports!
3. Boosts Social skills: It is widely accepted that today, more than the traditional IQ, it is EQ or Emotional quotient (which is the ability to manage emotions in a positive way) that needs more attention to be taken care of. An individual’s success in life is more about managing work and personal relationships than their ability to do calculus. Engaging in team sports boosts the EQ of children, enabling them to handle relationships better and in a smarter way.
4. Teaches Life Skills: Children learn some incredible values of life through sports. Team sports, playing fair, dealing with success and failure, understanding that both of these are possible within minutes in life are all lessons which have to be learnt experientially and not just through sermons or moral science books. Children who play sports are therefore more balanced in their emotional readiness for life.
5. Builds Confidence : It has been found that children who are actively involved in sports have a more positive attitude towards life, and that- they have fewer relationship problems because of their experience in dealing with team mates, a better body image, thereby, making them less likely to engage in risky behaviour such as drug use. Overall, they have higher self esteem and develop the habit of trying hard to achieve.
The Bhagavad Gita says “Karmanye vadhikaraste Ma Phaleshu Kadachana”- Let not the fruits of action be your motive, nor let your attachment be turned to inaction- A philosophy that adults struggle to imbibe in life. Nowhere does a child learn this repeatedly than in sports. They learn that the effort you put in may not always yield the desired outcome, but give it your best ANYWAY! And that is a priceless lesson!