Children should be playing and moving outdoors instead of sitting indoors
Sport is the best medicine for any child’s body, mind and development.
While building strong and healthy bodies, sporting activities can teach your child key values like honesty, teamwork and respect. Participating on the playground or on the sports field also helps develop your child’s gross motor skills.
Elzanne van der Walt (Sports Scientist and Clamber Club Sports franchise owner) shares her top sporting tips:
- Keep your children physically active: The more active kids are, the higher their skills level will be, the more valuable they will feel, and the more motivated they will be to develop new skills and take on bigger challenges.
- Learn broad sporting skills when young: A preschooler needs to be learning basic techniques and generalised sporting skills, and not those of a specialised sport. If young children have a broader spectrum of sport skills in general it is much easier for them to decide what sports they favour and to see what they are best at. Then at a later stage (when they are a bit older) they can specialise in whatever they are best at or like the most.
- Allow for competition in the older child and learn to lose with grace: Learning to deal with competition is a huge advantage for a child in terms of life skills, and is learnt from participating in competitive sporting games. This is also healthy, but it must be presented and taught the right way. Learning to cope with winning and losing is important.
- Reduce stress and anxiety: Not all children can cope with stress. Sport is known to be one of the best de-stressors for a child. When we are physically active our body releases serotonin which directly contributes to our feelings of wellbeing.
- Develop muscle memory from a young age: Sporting activities require fast reflexes and skilled movements that have been practised over and over in many different ways. If this muscle memory is there from a young age, the child feels stronger, more confident and relaxed. This improves their self-esteem and sporting ability.