Studies have shown that children who take part in sport and particular team sport such as soccer are more focused in school and live healthier lifestyles. It’s important that children and parents understand the benefits of taking part in sport and being involved with academies. There are four main areas, which will have a positive effect on children who are part of soccer academies such as MEYSO:
- Improved Social Skills
- Better Health
- Self Esteem and Confidence
Studies have shown that children that are involved with academies or football teams demonstrate more positive attributes in the classroom than pupils who don’t. Wendy Owen has found that students who play on sports teams learn leadership skills, responsibility, discipline and time management skills that can be transferred into the classroom. This is due to children making decisions and learning from their mistakes, which are both skills that will provide an optimal learning environment for a child.
Improved social skills
Communication: Social success is built on our ability to communicate correctly and appropriately. From simple tasks such as remembering peoples’ names to more complex activities such as giving and receiving compliments, communicating is a skill we need to master early and effectively. Team sports, such as soccer are a perfect medium for learning about communication. In order to function effectively a team member has learn to be both the communicator and the one communicated with. Simply remembering names and calling them out across a soccer pitch is a start to learning these skills, as is effectively giving direction to a teammate.
Standing up for yourself: Children may need to learn that there are many ways of expressing your viewpoint more effectively. Children need to learn how to be assertive without being offensive and once again the framework of a team game such as soccer provides a perfect environment to develop these skills.
Physical development: Children who participate in sports develop stronger muscles and bones, and the stronger you are, the less likely you will suffer from physical injury. A New Zealand study conducted in 2006 suggested participating in physical exercise before and during the onset of puberty helps reach peak bone mass, enabling children to develop stronger muscles and bones that will be the foundation for future growth.
Weight control: Several studies have shown that childhood obesity is a growing problem in our society. Playing sports, however, will keep children active and aid in the fight in combating this problem. Having a controlled weight leads to happier children and decreases the risk of diseases that comes from being overweight in their lifetimes, such as heart disease and diabetes.
Self-esteem and confidence
If children are given many opportunities to succeed in sport, they will more often come to see themselves as ‘winners’ rather than ‘losers’. They will grow up to be better-adjusted, more confident, and should be able to cope with stress and new challenges. This will increase their confidence when approaching new challenges or situations either in school or in other life situations. Confident children are more likely to be able to make better decisions and learn from the outcomes.