Kobe Bryant one of the most prolific basketball players of all time appeared on ESPN a few days back and spoke about the reasons why kids should play sports and why they are beneficial. I recently just recorded my podcast talking about this very subject that will air Monday morning.
Speaking more about why Kobe is spot on, in just his 3 minute clip there are a few things Kobe said I would like to elaborate on. Here is his 3 minute clip and some more elaboration on his points.
Kobe touches on the psychical and emotional benefits of the game, along with the mental benefits of the game. The psychical benefits of the game are a no brainier, if we want kids to be active get them in sports because getting in the gym at 9 years old is not as easy as playing little league baseball. (2) Emotional, this is one that is not talked about enough but the wins and loses, the ups and downs of a sport all fall into the category of how the player handles the emotion of the sport. When his/her team is going through a rough stretch how will the player respond emotionally, when the player strikes out or has a bad shift or makes a bad play how will they respond emotionally? Sports allows us to learn how to handle our emotions as kids and as adults.
(3) Mental benefits of the game, another one that is extremely important and such a positive of sports. When you don't feel like going to practice or you're having a rough day and do not want to attend off ice workouts or practice but you push through and do it anyways. When you lose a close game in a heart break fashion, you learn how to mentally process the feelings of your teammates as well as your own negative or positive self talk. When you make a bad play or have a rough first half, you check in with yourself mentally and either crumble or turn the page and do better next time. When you prepare for games you positively self talk to yourself and mentally get yourself prepared for the game. When you deal with tough coaches or a bad teammate, you mentally learn how to deal with it and push through. In which will all carry into real life or when you get into the life of working in business or any type of job.
Sports create leaders in kids as well, every team needs a leader, therefore who is going to step up and be a leader? That's where sports come in and mold leaders for their team and for life. Sports allows those who have anxiety or depression feel apart of something, have a community, have a support system, feel as if they are accepted into a group. Know that for 1-2 hours three times a week their troubles or worries will go away because of the sport. As well sports help those who struggle with anxiety learn to cope with their anxiety, ways to over come and get rid of that constant worry or unwanted thoughts. When a player is dealing with anxiety in sports but has to focus on the game or task at hand he/she will learn how to shut off his of her mind for a few hours and subdue their anxiety for the time being and those ways they cope with anxiety on the field, court, ice, etc will carry over to the classroom, with friends, etc.
Sports are unbelievably beneficial and hopefully this article and my Podcast coming out Monday can get the ball rolling for your young ones or change those who have negative point of views about sports and the competitiveness of sports.