Compared to other curricular activities in school, parents do not typically place sports in a place of importance in the development of children. It is traditionally regarded as just a fun hobby for kids to spend their energy, but with little practical value.
However, we now know that is not true! Your child’s weekly soccer games or rounds of badminton can have real benefits on their mental, physical, and social development. In fact, many studies have shown that students active in sports reap more benefits than students with no sports involvement.
Wondering how these games can benefit your child? Here are some ways sports can boost your child’s development.
When your child is engaging in physical activities like dodgeball, the nerve cells in the hippocampus and prefrontal cortex of their brain are triggered to multiply and form new connections. Over time as they play more sports, this reaction in their brain results in better memory, which translates to better learners in school.
Several sports offered in primary schools in Singapore like touch-rugby involves decision making and quick thinking. These games accelerate the development of your child’s brain and also trains them in problem-solving skills. Who knew that sports could give such a power boost to our brains?
Better mental health
Mental health is something not commonly talked about when it comes to a child’s growth. However, it is especially critical to instil habits that promote the positive mental health of your child. It would be best if you encouraged your child to take breaks from studying and perhaps go and sweat it out at a running track. What this does is stimulate their body’s production of endorphins, which leads to your child having a better mood and focus.
Especially during the examination periods, it is common for your child to feel the pressure. Team-based sports like basketball does wonders in taking the worries away from your child’s mind, as they laugh and play with their teammates after school. Playing sports with like-minded peers relieves not only nervousness, but also tension and frustration.
One thing that international schools in Singapore take pride in is in having positive role models present throughout your child’s education journey. This is especially so for the co-curricular activities offered.
For example, if your child is in the school’s touch rugby team, they would be surrounded by role models like coaches, team leaders and captains.
Over time, positive values from these mentors will be instilled in your child. Especially since the leaders they are around are people that they look up to, they would pick up on qualities like respect, determination and perseverance which would relay back to their academic performance.
Not only will they pick up these values, but your child will also be encouraged to hone their leadership skills through their games.
Develop social skills
For many students, one thing they look forward to every day is to meet and converse with their friends. Encouraging your child to join a sport in school allows them to meet like-minded friends with the same interests.
Sports are a great conversation starter. Your child is more likely to initiate conversations with their friends while playing a team sport. In team sports like football, your child will learn how to work with other students, cooperate and solve problems together, all while having fun!
Hence, there is no need to worry about your child making new friends since many of the sports offered in international schools like football and basketball encourage communication and are team-work driven.
Introducing your child to the sports offered in school will benefit their development, both socially and academically. Many qualities that they will pick up from being involved in these sports will give them the edge over students who do not partake in sports.