Images showing children playing, having fun have a power of reconciliation with the world that few other images can provide us. In these moments we see how time, the future and the past, as well as space disappear in their eyes. They are there, having fun like children. It's the only thing that matters in every action we take. Thus, the "innocent" sport strengthens their muscles and expands their lungs.
On the other hand, children who practice sports unconsciously will practice it quickly in a much more regulated manner, controlled by judges or referees or by coaches. The mood then changes: a goal or a basket turns into something much more serious. Although it is not like before, the fact that children continue to play sports in this way or another unique development opportunities, beyond being a future "star".
Let's detail these opportunities.
Children and sport: good points
Make a commitment and respect it
The regulated practice of a sport pushes children to follow a certain discipline. There is a moment to change, another to warm up, another to realize a little mental preparation, another to compete, another to manage the victory or the defeat … Also, during the week they may have to respect specific and scheduled schedules for training. Basically, there is a commitment that the child must respect.
Some days he will be more interested in going to sport than others; but he is part of a team and as a member of this team, he must be present. Thus, sport is a fabulous context that allows children to learn to organize and activate their will to respond to specific moments.
Nourish reasonable expectations
Sport, already for young children, is turning into a field of performance. Often, without anyone telling him, and even leaving aside a possible result, the child knows perfectly when it was good or when it was not.
Thus, he will learn that it is often himself who precipitates the defeat when in the first minutes of play he is not able to enter the track or when the expectations are very high and he is not able to satisfy them. He will learn to increase his own expectations when he performs well. Thanks to the sport, he will also have the opportunity to learn how to handle defeat and to get up for the next competition. He can even think and understand, with help, how the expectations of others shape his choices, his performance and his performance.
He can also learn to manage frustration and anger against himself. It is for this particular stage that we, parents, have a good opportunity to intervene and their learn to engage in a constructive internal dialogue, with which they will not mistreat. It is best to talk about it in a time when our words are so important to the little ones before they begin their adolescence and face the growing influence of their peers.
Develop their senses
Many of the features of the game or sport are related to life as such. For example, in the field there are people who follow you and support you, just like in the vital journey. If we talk about a team sport, the child will learn not to be alone, for the better and for the worse. He will learn to share interests with a group of people (win or do a good deed) and also support his teammates for better results, because they too will support him.
The child will learn that when some projects start badly, he can return them by showing effort and intelligence. A goal or a bad exit does not imply the final defeat. It only means that it will be harder to win, but that is not impossible. He will also learn that sometimes, the others can not do anything for him, that it is for example to organize the game or to move quickly their legs.
We could continue to emphasize parallels, but perhaps the last and certainly the most special would be this: with sport, children learn the importance of anticipation. Whether it's the game, or the opposite. They know that a bad pass requires extra effort, but they also know that a good pass or an interception of the ball before it reaches the feet or hands is instead a huge advantage. In fact, sport is becoming a privileged exercise of sustained attention for children who have a pre-frontal cortex (the one responsible for the organization of behavior and decision-making) in full development.
Finally, although sport is a perfect stage for learning, we must never forget the image with which we started this article. That of children who are in the park, who play and benefit. Because this is surely the best in sport during childhood, it is that he is often one of the best sons for first friends and one of the best arguments referring to happy childhood stories.