I am a firm believer that sports promote positive growth in our students. When students are active in sports they learn some of life's valuable lessons. Some of these lessons are commitment, dedication, hard work, communication skills, social skills, and, sportsmanship. Doing research on growth and sports on the internet I came across this segment of an article. I feel that this only gives us more reason to get our youth involved more in extra curricular activities. The following is reprinted from the article on excite.com.
Research indicates that the participation in sports can promote healthy development in young children. Being active in youth sports can help build a foundation for cooperative play, teamwork, and good sportsmanship while helping to refine gross motor skills in children’s rapidly developing bodies. According to an article published by the American Academy of Child and Adolescent Psychiatry (AACAP), “sports help children develop physical skills, get exercise, make friends, have fun, learn to play as a member of a team, learn to play fair, and improve self-esteem.”
Studies have also examined how sports contribute to the development of social competence—the ability to get along with and be accepted by peers, family members, teachers, and coaches; and, self-esteem—the extent to which an individual believes him/herself to be capable, significant, successful, and worthy (Ewing, 1997).
According to the findings, children learn to assess their social competence in sports through the feedback received from parents and coaches (Ewing, 1997). Self-esteem, however, is developed through the evaluation of one’s own abilities as well as an assessment of the responses received from others.
Since our children watch our responses, and those of their coaches, for signs of approval or disproval of their behavior, it is critical that we offer as much positive feedback as possible. So keep your students involved, make the experience a positive situation and it could just make them more successful on and off the field of play.