Have you ever wondered why the early Egyptians and Greeks are considered as two of the most intelligent civilizations in human history? While there are many factors that can be attributed to this fact, Sports is one major characteristic both civilizations share that have contributed to their mental advancement. Today, physical activity has more to do with developing a child’s intelligence than ever.
Every educator wants to bring out the best in a student no matter what and according to Michael E. Trulson who wrote the book Martial Arts Training: A Novel Cure To Juvenile Delinquency, sports can indeed greatly develop a student’s learning process.
In today’s age of social media, students tend to be more distracted which can pose dire consequences to their education. Engaging young ones in sports allows them to develop focus, self-control, and motivation– a trio of positive aspects that help in molding an individual’s intelligence.
The coaching factor.
Did you know that coaches have more potential to be huge influences on kids than parents or teachers? Do movies like Coach Carter, Remember The Titans, and Glory Road ring a bell? According to Trulson, coaches have the power to motivate during real-time stress situations, develop focus, and employ discipline for better results more than any other educator.
Coaches give important spur-of-the-moment instructions during game time and students value these while eventually learning and remembering them for application in real-life circumstances. While there is no way we can contest how the contribution of parents and teachers is equally valuable in educating the student, coaches can demonstrate how sports can fuel an individual’s passion points which trigger mental and physical faculties to work together for better outcomes.
Discipline in numbers.
As to how traditional schools grade students by performance in written exams, individuals who are into sports gain feedback almost immediately after every game. Post scores and statistics in basketball games usually list down how a player performed in terms of points scored, field goal percentages, defensive numbers, and minutes played among others. All of these contribute to teaching the student or player what aspects to improve on and decide immediately what next steps should be done. By reviewing differences in performance at a much faster turnaround, the student gets to link the numbers with strategies for improvement more efficiently and with more motivation.
Practice makes perfect.
There is a notion that students who are also into sports usually find it difficult to keep pace with their academics due to hectic practice schedules. However, this can be debunked by the Theory of Multiple Intelligence or MI. Student-athletes have a more developed bodily-kinesthetic intelligence which acts as their dominant intelligence in the MI spectrum. However, there is no reason why they can’t also develop their other intelligences to complement their dominant one.
Sports nurtures discipline by how it clearly illustrates the effects of practice in achieving goals. As many would say, practice makes perfect, but the important thing here is to apply learning by transference or how they can apply the concept of discipline during practice to real-life circumstances like studying for their classroom subjects. Sports can be a tool to further teach students how to approach their study habits and show them the importance of other types of intelligence.
Motivation is key.
After every game, perhaps the most obvious thing a child who is into sports immediately sees is the result and its correlation to his performance. In any endeavor, motivation is fueled by the passion to succeed. However, success can only be measured once the results are in. Some students lack the motivation to study because they can’t see immediate outcomes until the day their report cards are issued. Seeing the benefit of one’s hard work right after they applied their strengths and capabilities either produces a sense of reward or the motivation to improve and apply more discipline which is very evident in any sports event.
Thriving in teamwork.
Another valuable thing that sports teach students is the importance of teamwork. Sharing a set of mutual goals develops cohesion and regard for others which they can apply in actual careers when they grow up to be professionals. Everything begins with the curiosity on how they can contribute to the team and then appreciates to determining the best roles they can assume to get a win.
Have you ever noticed how every player in a game share the same intensity regardless if they are on or off the court? That’s because players are willing to take on any role so as long as they know that they are part of the team and are contributing to its success. The term “sportsmanship” is one that cannot be defined without such attitudes as discipline, sympathy, and respect. These characteristics are what students learn when they engage in sports which on a larger scale can be applied to practical situations outside of the court and in real life.
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