Updated: Aug 29
“ From a child’s young age, parents, schools, and well-wishers heavily emphasize academics to achieve success in life. Seldom does one talk about sports and academics in the same breath, fearing an adverse impact on one’s own reputation, the child’s future, and career options. ”
While having an academically inclined child is a matter of pride for the parents and the school, the same does not hold true for someone who is sports-oriented. There’s a misconstrued notion that sports hamper a child’s dedication towards academics. It is also felt that devoting too much time to sports results in sub-par grades and must be avoided.
Further, the intoxicating influence of digital media, i.e., online gaming, social networks, television, etc., has curtailed whatever little exposure children would otherwise get towards sports and recreational activities. This leads to an increased incidence of obesity and psychological issues, such as attention deficit, laziness, irritation, lack of patience, emotional turmoil, etc., among young children.
Sports and Academics – Partners in Holistic Development
It requires no special highlight that sports play a crucial role in nurturing a child’s personality from a very young age. While academics provide knowledge, a sport teaches the invaluable traits of teamwork, leadership, persistence, hard work, respect towards others, stress management, continuous enhancement of one’s skills, and most importantly – acceptance of success and failure in an unfazed manner.
To top it all, following a sport with dedication keeps one healthy – both mentally and physically. It ensures that the body’s potential is fully realized and keeps it in excellent condition for a significant part of adult life.
Therefore, it is evident that maintaining a balance between sports and academics is of utmost importance for a child’s holistic development.
At this juncture, a pertinent question arises – how to strike the perfect balance between sports and academics?
The benefits of sports and academics together can be achieved by adopting the following techniques:
1. PRIORITIZATION OF SPORTING PREFERENCES
There can be many sports that the child likes to follow or play, but it is also vital to prioritize which one to pursue seriously to exploit their true potential. This will require proper mentoring to understand the child’s inclination and guide them with the right know-how on taking up the sport.
2. TIME MANAGEMENT
We all know that we have a fixed number of hours at our disposal each day. To make the most of it, it is pertinent that the child imbibes time management skills so that they can pursue both sports and academics without compromising on any of them.
Following a daily timetable will ensure there is adequate time for both studies as well as sports. Time wasted on unproductive activities, such as television, video games, social media, etc., can be utilized to excel in sports and academics instead.
3. PROPER PLANNING FOR UPCOMING EVENTS
Sometimes, upcoming exams or an important game must take priority over the other. In such scenarios, careful planning will always help. The sports and academics schedule can be tweaked accordingly during days leading to the exam or game, such that adequate time is available for preparation.
4. SUPPORT AND MOTIVATION
During this time, support from family and school plays a pivotal role in ensuring the child doesn’t feel burdened by the rigour or expectations thereof. The child needs to be continuously motivated to keep them going whenever they feel low or are under acquired pressure to perform.
Importance of Sports in Schools
Children are usually restricted in their choice of sports at home, and sports may be viewed as leisure rather than a serious pursuit.
A school’s role is even more prominent in ensuring the right balance of sports and academics. A school with a strong focus on sports builds a strong foundation in identifying the child’s sporting potential. Accordingly, it provides the necessary infrastructure to pursue sports earnestly.
It is crucial that the school include sports as a part of the academic program and design the curriculum with sports at the center.
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