What happens on the sporting field doesn’t just stay on the sporting field. Through sport, boys are exposed to a variety of lessons that can be applied to everyday life and which will help your son to flourish. We’ve put together a list of five lessons learned through sport.
1. Living with integrity
Not everyone has the same values or principles. For some, sport is all about having fun, while for others, winning is the ultimate priority. Though having a desire to win is commendable, it can result in unfair or even poor sportsmanship. All sports have clear rules and guidelines that define success and acceptable play. This teaches boys the importance of order and expectation as well as the greater issues of ethics and morality. Within a respectful team, boys are encouraged to play fairly and within the rules, which teaches them to live with integrity off the pitch.
2. Taking responsibility
For many children, a sporting team is often one of the first times they will take on serious responsibility. While boys are responsible for their own actions, behaviour and improvement, within a team they start to understand the impact they can have on a group of people. Their personal actions can have a bearing on the success and/or failure of others. Generally, in team sports a lack of responsibility will have consequences, and it’s valuable for children to learn this.
Responsibility is one of the best lessons learned through sport because within a team context, boys develop a sense of unity and brotherhood, and everyone keeps each other accountable. As parents, it can be tempting to do everything for your son, but this can stifle his ability to develop responsibility and independence.
3. Cultivating a positive attitude
Having a positive attitude plays a key role in success on and off the field. In sport, there are teammates who inspire and energise others with their positive attitude, while others become deflated after a loss. Although positivity doesn’t guarantee winning, it does make participation more enjoyable.
Sport helps boys learn to manage failure and success. Boys will experience the natural emotions that come from both success and defeat. They should be encouraged to handle success humbly, and defeat, nobly. One of the best ways we can encourage boys to do this is to encourage them to shake the hands of referees and opponents, and not blame losses on external sources.
4. Developing perseverance
It isn’t always easy to continue with a task when you face challenge and adversity. Coaches and parents play a key role in reassuring boys that it’s okay to make mistakes – failure can be the best teacher. However, it’s important to reflect after a loss – to identify areas for improvement and to realise it takes hard work to succeed.
Encourage your son to evaluate a loss and ask questions such as:
- What did you learn from the loss?
- What could you have done differently?
- Where do you need to improve in order to be better next time?
When your son perseveres, he will develop resilience and confidence when dealing with future challenges. When the difficulties of life take place, a boy will be able to draw strength from the struggles he overcame on the field.
Participation in sport can develop leadership qualities that can benefit a child on and off the field. From an early age, children have the opportunity to learn and display leadership skills through sport. Children learn to strategise by developing game tactics; delegate by assigning positions, roles and tasks; communicate clearly and effectively; and practise decision-making skills, often in time-sensitive and tense situations.
For over a hundred years Trinity Grammar School has educated boys in mind, body and spirit. Our mission is to provide a thoroughly Christian education for boys from Pre-Kindergarten to Year 12, imparting knowledge and understanding of the world we live in, and recognising the importance of spiritual qualities in every sphere of learning.
Sport is an integral part of a Trinity education for mind, body and spirit. On the sporting field we aim to teach boys how to cope with adversity, to lose with dignity and to win with grace. We believe that co-curricular activities are vital in supporting your son’s academic education and allowing him to pursue his passions, realise his potential and discover his life’s purpose. If you would like to learn more about the Trinity difference and our full range of co-curricular activities, download our Co-Curricular ebook.