He’s the Indian chess Grandmaster—an unassuming, down-to-earth individual who has many accolades under his belt. Recipient of the Padma Vibhushan and the Rajiv Gandhi Khel Ratna, he started playing chess at the young age of 6. Yes, it’s chess maestro Vishwanathan Anand.
Surely, he’s worth looking up to, especially for his modesty and success.
Playing a sport brings out the best in people. Sports for kids is something parents should consider to bring out the best in him/her. Not too sure?
Here’s 7 ways how sports helps your child:
“Are you sure?” his mother shouted over the applause. He nodded and then took the dive.
That’s 7-year-old Rishi taking his first 8-feet dive, leaving his parents stunned. “He’s so confident about swimming that it’s scary,” they say. As any concerned parent, they want him to be safe, but Rishi has other plans.
He’s always pushing his limits and exploring the game. “Swimming has made him a different person. He was never so self-assured before.” It’s amazing to hear them say that. They seem to revel in the confidence that their son has found in his sport.
If playing a sport can do that to a child, it’s worth every effort.
From choosing their clothes to what they want to play, children are all about taking whim-based decisions. What about decisions related to life-changing responsible decisions? Do you think you are equipping them enough to become responsible?
If not, try a sport. You will notice that your children become surer of themselves. They will become strong and responsible towards academics, fitness, and generally their future.
“I see him turning into a strategic kicker,” says Madhu. Her 8-year-old plays football as the team’s forward. It’s the most crucial position for the team since forwards stand closest to the goalpost and are responsible for scoring.
“He’s taken this responsibility seriously and talks about it a lot. I never thought it would be so easy. I didn’t have to teach him to get responsible. I just enrolled him for football and it’s all sorted!” she gladly adds.
“I love Mickey Mouse.” replied my almost 5-year-old when my mom asked him about his favourite hobby. I wanted to hide.
Really? Does he actually have ‘no’ hobby? My mind was racing. “Definitely Mom, he has hobbies, but just doesn’t know what hobby means,” I lied when my mom gave me that ‘look.’
Come to think of it, watching TV has become a hobby for most kids and we are to be held responsible. How about changing that and getting them to play a sport? Try several sports, they will like at least one of them. Playing a sport will keep them occupied. It’s a good way to pass leisure time.
As if reading these thoughts of mine, my disappointed mother later asked my no-hobby son if he’d like to try any sport as a hobby. He said as long as it’s football or hide and seek he’s okay.
I quickly enrolled him for football. Hopefully, he has a favourite hobby now!
4) Channelising negative emotions
“I had a case where the child had taken to hitting. In one of our private sessions, he said that he feels angry and doesn’t know what to do with that. I suggested, to his parents, that he try kick-boxing along with therapy and it worked,” says Dr Daruwala, a Mumbai-based child psychologist.
Dr Daruwala suggests that children should be involved in high-energy sports if parents notice pent up emotions. Therapy and counselling can only pave the way for channelising negative emotions. Sports help in expelling those emotions completely.
For parents of young kids who don’t demonstrate extreme anger, but throw a lot of tantrums, high-energy sports help a lot. Children channelise all their power into the sport and it leaves them with no energy to harp on negative emotions.
As they play, their body creates endorphins also called the ‘feel-good’ hormone. This helps the body feel energised and positive. The more regularly this hormone is produced, more stabilised their emotions remain.
5) Physical development
“Play basketball if you want to grow tall,” my grandfather used to say. I was always sulking about how I never got as tall as him. Although I never followed his suggestion, I recall it now. Yes, sports help with mental stability, development, and growth. But first, they help with physical development.
The list of benefits is long and endless. Every sport has one physical advantage or another. There is not a single sport that does not entail body flexibility and growth. Isn’t that amazing?
Basketball helps improve height; Kabaddi is great for muscle strength; Javelin throw is awesome for arm strength; Cricket for hand-eye-coordination; Football for stamina; Gymnastics for flexibility; Skating for balance; Swimming for agility and so on. As I said, the list is endless!
“They’re always fighting!” If you have two children, you’ll often be heard saying this. Children can’t always get along, be it siblings or friends.
What do we do on occasions when our children fight and we need some peace? We ask them to play something. Inherently, we all know that playing a sport together is the best way to generate friendships-teamwork, to be more precise.
Sports bring children together. They connect and make friends. Since they strategise and channelise their energies in the same direction, they make a bond. It’s a lovely way to make your child get along.
Can you imagine a career at the age of 10? Which field apart from acting or theatre allows you that? It’s sports.
Shubham Jaglan is a 10-year-old golfer who has won the IJGA World Stars of Junior Golf event in Las Vegas on 23 July 2015.
“Shubham learnt his golfing skills in the fields of Israna, a village near Panipat,” going by a tv news channel’s report. He started with modest facilities, but still made a career for himself at an age of 10. Why do you think he could achieve it? He was good at his game, true. More than that his parents supported him all the way. They sensed his aptitude and honed it with the best of their ability.
Playing a sport can start as a hobby or pastime. But if your children really have the talent,they can grow in the sport, making a career for themselves. All you need to do is support them.
Age is not just a number!
Sania Mirza has done us proud on several occasions. However, when she quit singles, we were taken aback. “I quit singles to prolong my career,” she had said. She has faced several injuries in her already long career and continuing with singles was taking a toll on her .
She started playing tennis at the age of 6. Imagine if she hadn’t started that early, she might not even have reached this far. Sania maintains that players should ideally start young to have an extended career. Food for thought, don’t you think?
How can sports help your child? Share your views in the ‘Comments’ section below.
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