For a child, the formative years comprising of preschool and school are crucial for his/her development. It is the first time the child is placed outside the comfortable and familiar surroundings of their home and in the company of others belonging to the same age group. The potential interactions being afforded by such a setting provide an invaluable insight in monitoring the physical, mental and emotional condition of the child. One of the best ways to observe such is through sports and physical activities.
Here are five reasons why sports are crucial for preschool and school kids-
1. Physical development-
Most of the daily rigours of life which naturally kept the kids of the previous century fit and in shape have been eliminated because of advances in science and technology. The current generation is more susceptible to being overweight than any before it. It is projected that every one in three Indians will be obese by the next thirty years. The importance of physical development for our kids cannot be overstated. Of the years spent pursuing learning in schools, it is crucial that physical fitness is given equal importance as any other academic subject. The purpose of schooling is to prepare the kids for living a rich and fulfilling life, a goal which cannot be attained if one is in poor health. Due to the sedentry nature of life we live, having a love for physical activities ingrained in our kids is imperative. And the younger age at which it is ingrained, the better.
Leaving aside the importance of growing up with a love for physical activities which help to keep you fit, intensive sports programs are tailored to put the kids through the paces and observe discrepancies in the sample. Some children may be born pigeon-toed, some may tend to favour the limbs on one side of their body to another, resulting in overcompensation and problems later in life whereas some may have other undiagnosed disorders such as asthma which become clear through rigorous physical activity. Unless kids are in an environment of their peers where they are all being put through a standardized regimen, it is difficult to observe these issues. The comprehensive nature of sports enables the teacher to spot them and take corrective measures to improve upon them.
Physical development results in expansion of mental capabilities. For instance, if you are right handed, writing with your left hand activates dormant parts of your brain. That is a simple case of a physical activity helping to develop the brain. Sports allows the kids to undertake methodical drills designed to stimulate their physical beings in order to better their mental self. Playing sports allows kids to improve upon their motor skills which helps make their brains more flexible.
4. Emotional development-
A playful child is a happy child. There is something to be said in favour of just letting a kid loose in a playground, but the structured activities of specific sports lets them experience goal-seeking behaviour which is rewarded through incentives and recognition. The child is always made to feel a sense of progress and that gets him/her emotionally invested in the program itself. One of the most important things kids can be taught is rewarding goal seeking behaviour. Kids need to be taught that you only get something when you put the effort in. Even a kid emotionally vested in an activity can end up taking it loosely if he/she does not inculcate discipline. But the latter only comes after the former. Pull factors are more effective than push factors when it comes to motivating kids. Emotional quotient measures your ability to postpone some source of immediate pleasure for greater
5. Nurturing talent-
The commissioner of the NBA, David Stern, was in India recently. He met one of our country’s best prospects, 19-year-old Amritpal Singh, Jr. While being in awe of the youngster’s skills, he lamented that “He is this good when he has only been playing for three years. Imagine if he had picked up the game earlier in life.” A lot of kids don’t realize their innate talent until they are in their teens. A kid taking up sports at a young age under a watchful eye enables the teacher to spot the latent talent in the kids and encourage them towards fulfilling their full potential. Having kids take up sports at a young age improves the chances of them bringing laurels to the country. Schools are the largest and most organized groups of youngsters in the country. They can play an invaluable role in talent spotting and nurturing.
There are many good reasons that some school franchises have made it compulsory to offer a certain number of sports disciplines to the kids. And the above five reasons are just to name a few. If you are a sportsperson, you will know how crucial sports can be for the development of kids.