Not everything comes easy to everyone, with some activities requiring extra effort and support. Just for the purpose of disclosure, I was not a strong athlete but was one of the most willing participants. The 6th grade comes to mind, especially the first day of volleyball tryouts. Having just placed near the end of the cross-country race, I was worried that my failures would translate onto the court. Despite my misgivings, I eventually learned the advantage of being tall, especially when used in tandem with other players with their own unique talents.
Our team ended up going to the area finals, losing in the final game. That was the highlight of my volleyball career, save for the occasional pickup game with friends. This was my first glimpse into the “real world”, a living organism where diverse organisms cooperate, argue, and preserve. I later learned that the other players had their own insecurities, hoping that their (own) shortcomings would be ignored in favor of their skills.
What if your child is not athletic?
Is it worth investing in?
Wouldn’t it be better if our kids spent that time studying?
As the Bible famously states, “It is better to ask a question than to remain ignorant”.
Physical health is a necessity for a healthy future, setting up a sound foundation for life. Not everyone has the discipline to exercise independently, with many going to practice (primarily) to see their friends. This is a great motivator for team sports participation, with youngsters wanting to fit in and contribute to the common effort. Even if your child is not the “star player” remember that they are developing cardiovascular strength just by playing the game. Furthermore, they can improve on the skills they have, opening doors to other sports where they may have an advantage.
Team sports cost money, especially when it comes to hockey tournaments and so forth. Consider goalie equipment, often costing several thousand dollars and up. Competitions require transportation, the ability to rent a coach bus from city-to-city. Why would parents spend so much money, especially when the chance of playing in the NHL is so low? Would the failure to get drafted constitute failure in life (for hockey parents)? The answer is obviously no, with many parents happy to see their kids smile and enjoying themselves. In other words, hockey is the gateway to Canadian culture and successful social integration. Some of the best friends are made in hockey, due to the close-knit nature of the game.
Students have a limited attention span, often “spacing out” after a specific period of doing the same thing. This is especially true for sedentary activities, such as reading and writing. While students may be tired at the beginning of the activity, it gets progressively easier with time. Furthermore, physical activity reduces stress and allows for increased productivity in the classroom. Even though it may seem that they are losing time–by participating in team sports–the truth is that they will become more successful in other classes and pursuits.
While not every child can be the next “Yao Ming” or “Labron James”, all kids can benefit from team sports, especially at the competitive level. Like Scouts Canada, it prepares young people to be tomorrow’s leaders.