Most parents would agree that kids today would rather hold tablets or mobile phones than play outdoors. But whether it’s basketball, karate, swimming, or any other physical activity, making sports a part of children's routine is beneficial in more ways than one—and not just for their physical health.
On top of the physical benefits sports give, they teach kids lessons and instill in them important values that will serve them well throughout their lives.
Here are some of the life lessons children pick up with the help of sports.
1. Knowing your limits.
According to a March 2017 article in Psychology Today, “Part of what humility involves is an awareness of and acceptance of our limits. Second, and closely related to this, humility involves an acknowledged dependence on others. Athletes depend on coaches, officials, family and friends, and many others for their success, for example.” Defeat can be a great teacher for humility, which makes your child realize that it’s a natural part of life.
2. Sticking to your goals even when things are tough.
Kids encounter difficult situations when they are exposed to sports. What’s important is they learn how to stay committed to their passions or hobbies. Basketball legend Michael Jordan once said, “Obstacles don’t have to stop you. If you run into a wall, don’t turn around and give up. Figure out how to climb it, go through it, or work around it.” Hardships will come and go, but what’s crucial is your child remains unwavering despite any challenges.
3. Having the drive to aim higher.
While some studies may show the negative side of ambition, others focus on the pursuit of “healthy ambition.” Psychiatrist Neel Burton says, “People with a high degree of healthy ambition are those with the insight and strength to control the blind forces of ambition, shaping [it] so that it matches their interests and ideals. They harness it so that it fires them without also burning them or those around them.”
4. Showing appreciation and high regard for others.
Respect can go a long way when it comes to sports. According to a 2006 article on how coaches can teach positive behavior through sports, “When athletes respect themselves, their teammates, their opponents, and the game, sportsmanship happens.” Whether it’s through a customary nod or handshake at the start and end of a game or being on time for every practice session, showing respect is a value kids can take with them well into adulthood.
5. Recognizing the importance of collaboration.
You may think individual sports like swimming or tennis won’t teach your children the dynamics of cooperation and collaboration. Yet, participation in any sport will give them an appreciation for the guidance and contribution of others, whether it's their coach or peers. According to this 2017 article on teamwork, “Learning to cooperate with others toward a common goal in sports is what builds character, friendship, and important life skills for players and coaches.”
MILO and football club FC Barcelona sum up these values that contribute to your kids’ overall development as HEART (humility, effort, ambition, respect, and teamwork). In line with this values-driven program, MILO Philippines and FC Barcelona organized the invitational football camp, “Road to Barcelona.” Now on its second year, it was held at Cebu City Sports Center from September 8 to 9, with participants of about 160 girls and boys ages 10 to 12.
Interested in introducing your children to sports? As part of its commitment to youth development, MILO has been organizing various sports clinics for the last 35 years. The brand’s “Get Your Child Into Sports” program offers a wide range of activities to try, including bowling, volleyball, futsal, and even parkour, to name a few.