Without a doubt everybody knows how important it is to make sure your child is active. The development of key gross motor skills and the health benefits are widely acknowledged by parents and early learning educators. Sport also holds the key in developing your child’s personality traits and learning important values that will last a lifetime.

Leadership – The world’s leading Presidents, Prime Ministers and CEO’s all have one trait in common, leadership. Effective leadership starts at a young age with team sports topping the list for those that nurture its development. Soccer, rugby and netball place your child in an environment in which they will learn through play to take control of a situation and help those around them improve. Peer to peer learning ultimately creates leaders.

Respect and Integrity – Winning and losing are a vital part of any sport and a reality of life. Encouraging your child to accept both graciously, will only have a positive effect as they become adults. The highs and lows of taking part in sport allow an understanding of respect and integrity to develop. Whilst they may not know the definitions of these words you will see that sport has instilled them into your child’s personality.

Team Work and Commitment – Individual pursuits such as golf and tennis reinforce the need for commitment. A level of personal commitment is central to all of life’s pursuits and an early introduction to sport can set your child on the correct path. The dedication and concentration required to perfect a putt shot or a backhand return develops the skills that will be reflected in the classroom and beyond. Commitment to team sports works on life-long traits such as camaraderie, cooperation and self-discipline.
All these skills are vital to their future and building successful relationships with friends and colleagues.

Honesty – Through sport children learn to acknowledge the difference between right and wrong. The desire to win that is instilled in children at an early age is also tempered by professional coaching with an understanding of honesty and fairness. Sportsmanship can be a substantial building block in developing the right attitude in a growing child.

Adherence to Rules – Rules and laws dictate much of how we live our lives, the ability to understand and adhere to them begins in childhood. Sport provides the opportunity for children to learn to play within the confines of set guidelines. By playing within the rules of the game children are actively tested both mentally and physically whilst having fun.

The holistic nature of sport means that numerous key values are learnt through action and interaction. As children play and learn together they ultimately develop these values subconsciously all whilst having fun. By involving your child in sport at an early age you set in motion the development of skills that will create good human beings and stay with them for life.

Written by Christopher Duffy, Operations Manager & Head Coach (Rugby), Sport Star Academy.