Have you been thinking that things just seem so much harder and complicated for our kids than they used to be? Have you been thinking that they don’t seem that happy?
Our kids have got everything at their fingertips but they just don’t seem as happy as previous generations. How many times have you said “I remember when I used to climb trees and look at ants coming out of a hole! All you do is sit there studying or playing video games?”
It seems like schools are not always encouraging our kids to be kids. They might say they want them to be curious, to be adventurous, but all they seem to be doing is giving them exam after exam. These exam factories are failing to prepare our children for a future workplace. They are solely concentrating on the academic and not on the person as a whole.
It should be well-known that universities and colleges are not interested in just the academic aspect of a person. They want a “well-rounded” individual.
Now, we have all probably heard that term. But how do we actually prepare our children to become that person that universities want? How do we help students with their mental health when all they have on their mind are exams they have to pass?
The answer: Sport. Any sport. Individual Sport. Team sport.
This isn’t just a ploy, it’s fact. As a teacher in a previous life I could identify the students who were genuinely happy in their own skin and who were more likely to succeed, not just at school but in their future career.
Unfortunately, we have to consider their weight when we look at happiness. In 2017 – 18, 4.8 million kids ages 10 to 17 had obesity, according to the National Survey of Children’s Health. Try and look at the body language of a student who is overweight or who doesn't exercise, do they actually look like they’re confident? A team player? Anxious? A good listener? Happy? Easily distracted? We can always see through the BS of the confident loud talkers. We’re not saying they have to be skinny, that’s not the point. It’s about them developing skills NOW that will benefit them in their future.
We have always seen sports as a way to stay healthy and in shape but the benefits are so much more than just this. Sport is able to teach life long skills like discipline, responsibility, self-confidence, accountability, and teamwork. It’s not rocket science that people who play sport are happier, more sociable, more likely to make friends, are not bullied and more likely to get to where they envisage themselves.
In addition to those positive aspects, researchers at the University of British Columbia have been able to determine that regular aerobic exercise leads to increased concentration, enhanced memory, stimulated creativity, and better-developed problem-solving skills.
So, it seems that one really easy way to make our children happy, able to deal with the stress of school whilst developing lifelong skills is exercise. This can help them become well-rounded people who not only benefit from learning or working in a certain environment but can also give back to the establishment and community. That said it can be something different for everyone, you just have to develop the skills to find out!
How has sport help you with your life, career or relationships?
Try out the Mantra Sports Agility Ladder as a group or by yourself and work on your cardio and skills: