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3 Social Skills Learned from Sports

by Joe Lawrence | October 7th, 2015 | Elementary, Social

boy playing soccer (400x400)Social skills are something that everyone needs to survive in this world today. It is especially important to learn them while in elementary school. This is why sports and extra-curricular activities are a great thing.

It is amazing to think that my kindergartner has a more active social life than I do. However, facts are facts. Another fact is that sports are a great way for kids to develop some important social skills. I will talk about three skills that can be learned while playing soccer.

First of all there is the obvious one: teamwork. Working together as a team is the only way for them to get the ball down the field. It is pretty interesting to see how they all come together to get the ball from the other team and then run in a pack to the goal. It appears to be instinctual almost.

Secondly, there is the fine art of fulfilling a role. In all of our social interactions with friends and colleagues we have a social role. Imagine it as getting onto a bus. Sometimes you are the driver sometimes in the back. We have to be ready to fill whatever role we are given.

Sports are perfect for teaching this skill. The players are constantly rotating out to the bench and the dynamic of the team changes with every substitution. Sometimes this change means my daughter is the leader of the pack and other times she is on the bench rooting on her teammates.

The last social skill learned on the field is that you are not always the winner. Our children play games with us all the time and often we let them win. We have races with them and let them cross the finish line just moments before we do. We are teaching them that they will always win. Although we are just trying to make things fun, the reality is that they will not always win in life.

Soccer teaches them this with every goal scored. Sometimes their team is the scorer and other times, it is the other team scoring on them. Learning that they are not always going to be the person scoring the goal is important. This helps them learn to be happy for other people on their team and teaches them to respect those on other teams. I ask my daughter after all of her practices and games if she saw something that someone else did that she liked. I want her to be able to learn from others too.

Social skills are vital for those of any age, but with sports we can set a foundation in our youth that will carry them into the professional world and their careers.

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