Tips, Football, Coaching, Grassroots

How Your Child Can Benefit From Playing Sport

If you were a footballer, rugby player, swimmer or even a gymnast, it's not unlikely that you would want your child to follow in your footsteps. Sport stirs a sense of belonging and passion in a child, and many parents expect their children to enter into a sport without hesitation or complaint. 

You may find yourself questioning your decision as you give up your Saturday mornings to accommodate training sessions and your Friday nights spent washing kits and boots. However, if you dig a little deeper, encouraging your child to take up the sport from a young age has immeasurable benefits, some of which will guide them into adulthood. 

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Social skills

By joining a sports club, your child has the opportunity to meet and play with new people and make new friends outside of their classroom. These friendships would not have been formed if it was not for their interest in the sport. 

Self-esteem

Support and words of encouragement are invaluable in building your child's self-esteem and confidence and will positively impact their emotional development as they mature. Coaches should be quick to offer words of praise to their players as well as supporting them with words of encouragement during tough times. 

Learning to deal with disappointment

No matter what discipline, disappointment is common in sport. As a young child, it is difficult to come to terms with disappointment whether that be failing a test or losing a game.  Sport allows your child to learn important life lessons which will soon develop their mental strength and strengthen their character. 

The ability to build on disappointment in a positive way for future experiences is invaluable to your child and will assist them on their journey into adulthood.

Managing success

As with disappointment, it is important that your child learns how to deal with success in a way that is both mature and considerate to their opponents. This is a highly important life lesson that can be applicable to a future working environment. 

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Pride

Aside from building self-esteem, sport allows your child to feel a strong sense of pride as they are contributing to a team and a united effort. Providing your child with something that they can be proud of is a huge boost to their own self-worth and can motivate them towards future endeavours.

Some children may struggle with other aspects of their development e.g. they may not excel naturally in the classroom, or they may find a certain subject difficult. Having the opportunity to perform well in a sporting environment is an amazing way of building your child up. Whether that be contributing to the wider success of the group rather than individual achievements, sporting success is a great confidence booster.

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Working under pressure 

No matter what sport, your child will be faced with a certain degree of pressure. Whether that be taking a penalty, marking an opponent, or even just playing a difficult position, being under pressure can help develop character and help mature your child. 

Even whilst working in a team, there will come a time where the focus is on your child and they may feel under pressure in carrying the team. Responding to such pressure is not always a natural instinct and it is something that many adults can struggle with. Exposure to this situation can be useful in future scenarios that they might come up against.

Teamwork

Learning to be part of a team is one of the most sought after skills in any business environment. This is a skill that your child has the potential of building from an early age through playing sport. Playing team sport helps a child understand their individual role within a team striving to achieve a collective goal. 

Your child will begin to understand that each individual contribution within a team results in an overall strong goal. 

Respect 

Junior sport requires a high degree of respect and discipline. Not only will your child learn to respect coaches and referees, but they will learn to respect team rules, opponents and teammates. This helps your child to understand the importance of respecting others outside of the classroom. 

In addition to the above, involvement in junior sport offers numerous benefits. It is important to remember that involving your child in sports assists with their development and will help them mature into adulthood. 

Get involved!