In my last blog post, I wrote about the importance of strength and conditioning for young athletes. This blog will cover the importance of children getting involved with sport and playing outside.
Motor learning is part of your child’s everyday life. It is the process by which a series of simple or complex movement elements come to be performed effortlessly through practice (Doyon, 2008). Everyday movements like walking, running, jumping, heck even holding a pen are examples of motor skills that need to be learned.
When children acquire a new skill through motor learning, if a step is missed or the pattern is faulty though bad biomechanics this could affect that movement for life. This can be avoided by encouraging your child to participate in organised sports with a good coach, free play with their friends, or hitting the gym with an IFC Personal Trainer.
I see way too many children these days who have problems performing even basic motor skills like throwing a ball, their motor skills are not practiced and honed the way they should be thanks to the digital age. Kids everywhere are glued to i-gadgets instead of running around in the park playing with their friends.
When I was young we were always outside playing, the simple act of throwing rocks could keeps us entertained for hours. Because of this my throwing skills developed well and I was never subjected to “you throw like a girl” taunts. Thanks mum and dad for pushing me outside!
Encouraging your child to be active is not about them becoming an Olympic athlete (though we can dream) there is a whole host of benefits that will help them now and for the rest of their life.
Besides all the physical benefits your child will get from being active, sport also teaches children how to deal with winning, losing and working as a team. It has been shown that kids who participate in team sports will do better in the work force when adults
Benefits of playing sport when young.
- Acquire new skills
- Improve coordination
- Healthy growth of bones, ligaments and tendons
- Reduce obesity (child obesity is on the rise)
- Improve proprioception (awareness of body in time and space)
- Build confidence and discipline
- Social interaction with other kids
- Instill discipline
I was a professional athlete while growing up and it taught me the importance of working as a TEAM, being able to communicate, and gave me a sense of discipline. These are lessons that I am grateful for and will take them with me for the rest of life.
Hopefully this has shown you the importance of getting your kids out and moving around.
Carl Jan De Vries