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Important Life Lessons Kids Learn from Playing Sports and Games

When kids are involved in games and sports, they learn far more than athletic skills or game terminology. There are plenty of important life lessons that can be learned most effectively through playing games and sports, especially in team settings.

Here are a few examples of some of those lessons.

  • Making mistakes is okay: Kids will quickly learn that they’re going to make mistakes in games, but that these mistakes often provide valuable learning experiences. Even the greatest athletes in the world make mistakes, and use those as opportunities to improve. The lesson that it’s okay to make mistakes is extremely valuable to kids of all ages.

  • How to be a leader or follower: During gym class or extracurricular sports, all kids will eventually have opportunities to be either leaders or followers. Learning how to appropriately lead their peers or how to follow instructions helps develop well-rounded kids who will be able to thrive in all types of situations in class, in extracurricular activities, in social settings and, later on, in their careers.

  • How to manage emotions: Sports and activities can be frustrating at young ages as kids learn how to handle winning and losing and how to manage their own mistakes and expectations. It is extremely important for kids to learn how to control these feelings, and sports are one of the best ways to do that.

  • How to set and achieve goals: Kids of all ages should be taught the importance of setting goals and the steps they can take to achieve those goals. Sports and games offer measurable ways for kids to track their progress and achieve these goals, as well as help them set more tangible goals to achieve. They can translate the lessons they learn about goal-setting and hard work into many other areas of their lives.

  • How to lose or fail: There are few lessons that come from games and sports that are more valuable than how to lose or fail, and how to pick yourself back up after failure. Kids need to learn from a young age that losing isn’t the end of the world—instead, it’s a learning opportunity. What should they have done differently? What can they do to be better next time? There aren’t any long-term consequences to losing games or sports as children, so it’s a great way for them to get accustomed to these feelings.

  • How to be healthy: Regular physical activity in an organized setting gives children some practical instruction in how to warm up, stretch, be active and stay healthy. These are lessons that can stay with them forever, whether or not they decide to play organized sports later in their childhood.

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