Encouraging children to play sports at an early age is much more than just developing their physical abilities. Playing and competing in a team teaches children valuable skills in sports that can be applied to every aspect of their lives. When your kids run, kick, and score goals at summer camp, you can enjoy knowing they’re learning these five tenors of being a good sport.
practice playing by the rules
Learning to play fair begins with understanding how to play the game. In summer camp, every coach starts by teaching their athletes the rules of the game. As children begin to acquire skills, these rules are constantly reviewed to ensure that everyone knows what behavior on the field is considered out of bounds. If someone forgets the rules on the field, there is always an adult supervision who can provide a gentle reminder.
respect for authority
At summer camp, kids look up to their old camp counselors and coaches. Nevertheless, it is also important to teach children that every authority figure deserves respect. Naturally, it is difficult for children to bite their tongue when a referee finds it unfair. This is why trainers provide respectful behavior that helps children learn how to accept another person’s authority with grace. Following a coach’s instruction for practice and training also teaches children to follow instructions, even when they don’t feel like it.
learn from loss
Children never like to lose, but it is important for them to learn that not everyone can be a winner all the time. When a team loses a game at summer camp, team leaders and coaches help maintain their enthusiasm by reminding them that the purpose of the game is to have fun and learn. Afterwards, campers are encouraged to identify any changes they can make to identify what happened during the game. Learning how to recover from losses helps campers see a higher purpose in every sport that goes beyond just earning a trophy.
celebrate with pride
It’s hard to control the excitement of winning a game and kids need to learn that excessive celebration can make the other team feel bad. For this reason, summer camp teams create rituals that promote a sense of well-being for both teams after the game. For example, children like to line up after a game is played to give each member of the other team a high five. Or, they may all gather at the end to sing the camp song, which promotes unity.
In sports, no player should ever think that they have won alone. In fact, passing the ball, defending a goal, and helping a teammate after a fall all work together. During a game, children are encouraged to acknowledge each other’s help. Saying thanks to a teammate or telling a friend that they did a good job scoring a goal teaches kids that everyone has to work together to win the game.
Learning to play nice with others is a skill that every child needs as they move forward in life. The games at Summer Camp are designed to ensure that every child learns to play in good sportsmanship. From respecting authority to comforting a friend after a loss, every child has a chance to win the game.