It’s no secret that being involved in sports has a direct correlation to psychological development and growth. Sports also contribute in the social and moral growth of a child. Not only do sports help children be physically fit and active but they also instil key values such as teamwork, adherence to rules, honesty, leadership, planning and sportsman spirit to name a few. Sports prepare children to face the big bad competitive world and also teach them how to cope with victory and defeat. Sports make you fight for a common goal alongside individuals you may or may not have known for a while; this is one of the many learnings which can mould you and prepare you to fight for the greater good in life and ignore the petty differences which are nothing more than water under the bridge.

When you look outside your window, do you see a lot of kids playing anymore?

Over the years one has noticed a steady decline in the number of kids playing in their building compounds. One could attribute this to children spending more time in front of televisions, computers and mobile devices. In these times where children tend to be gadget dependent, it’s more important than ever to have some kind of regular physical activity or sports interest. Research shows that children who spend more time on electronic devices instead of playing outdoors and interacting with other individuals are more likely to be introverts and have social anxiety. These are traits which can hamper growth, not just at a personal level but also at a professional level. We learn all life long but the foundation is laid when we are young and it’s essential that the foundation be strong. Going out and interacting with people in the external world will teach children to be aware of many things. It will instil social etiquette, which is a must to fit into the world. Let’s not forget the understanding of group dynamics and the ability to work in a team but still have ones own special identity.,

In big cities, it’s a luxury to find a small park or playground these days. It’s the duty of parents’ to encourage their children to take up sports, and they can make a start by pushing them to go outside and play. This will make children break the shackles of not just boredom but also introversion, and make new friends, which will in turn impart confidence and help them be outgoing.

Sports lets children break barriers – both geographical and social. Regardless of caste, social background, financial status, mother tongue, state or country, sports unite people and make them rise above everything else to focus on what is important. Being goal oriented and focussed is essential at every level in ones life, but one has to care for the weak and less fortunate and realise that to success as individuals we need the entire team to succeed.

We are the fast food generation, which sadly means that if care isn’t taken then we’re on the fast track to obesity. Sports will help in keeping ones diet under check and will provide the body the required physical activity to stay fit and overcome health issues. One shouldn’t’t treat sports as a thing one does at a certain phase or stage of life; it should be a way of life. With age the intensity might and will go down for obvious reasons but the very act of playing the sport should never die. As long as children are involved in sports activities, they will strive to be the best. Sports help align the mind with body and push one to go all out to achieve the best result. Winning or losing does not matter; what matters is that one gives his or her best.

“I’ve missed more than 9000 shots in my career. I’ve lost almost 300 games. 26 times, I’ve been trusted to take the game winning shot and missed. I’ve failed over and over and over again in my life. And that is why I succeed.”
Michael Jordan

The world celebrates April 6 as the International Day of Sport for Development and Peace. Let’s be physically active and encourage children to play sports.