However comprehensive our school education may have been, it’s often our extra curricular activities that we remember as playing an important part in shaping the person that we were and the person that we became. Through participating in the school play, we became more confident, through learning to play an instrument we became more disciplined or through joining an after school debate team we learned to articulate our most vociferous and passionate opinions.
Extra curricular activities are a great way for kids to try new things, gain new skills and learn more about themselves and nowhere is this more evident than in the world of sport. Through sporting activities, children have the opportunities to improve not only their physical fitness but their cognitive faculties, too. Sports are great at engendering both teamwork and leadership qualities as well as promoting a healthy sense of discipline, camaraderie, purpose and belonging as well as bringing with them the mental health benefits that come with regular exercise. The tricky part is deciding which sports are best for your kids, especially if they show little interest in any. Different children have different physical, psychological and emotional needs and as diverse as these can be, they can usually be serviced by choosing the right sporting activity…
The beautiful game is not only part of our national identity, it has some very specific benefits for young players so clear some space on the shelf as you may have a visit to the football trophy store in the near future. Football is one of the best cardiovascular workouts a kid can get, as players are in a near constant state of movement. An hour spent playing football can burn typically burn between 900 and 1,400 calories so if your child is looking to give their fitness a boost they need look no further.
Many parents become nervous when it comes to getting their kids into the martial arts as they worry that they will be more likely to get into fights at school. Nothing could be further from the truth. As well as being great for building strength, flexibility and agility, martial arts are terrific at building discipline and character. Young martial artists are taught the importance of restraint as well as civility, sportsmanship and respect.
If team sports aren’t your child’s cup of tea, they may get more from the benefits of cycling. Not only do kids learn a great deal from having, taking care of and maintaining their own bike, cycling gets them out in the open air and teaches them to behave appropriately on their bikes both on and off road. Find the right bike for your kids and they’ll form a relationship with it that will last for years.
Unconventional? Yes. But beneficial? Absolutely. Studies show that children who do yoga poses not only help children develop in their strength and flexibility but also increase in confidence, have improved self image and have better concentration and focus in their academia.
There are so many sports out there, it’s important to encourage your kids to try everything until find the right one for them, but when they do it won’t take long for them to start to reap the benefits.