Playing group games is a great way for kids to develop both their technical and social skills. In addition to learning something new and working towards improving their physical ability, working with others in a group setting can do wonders for their interaction too. Let’s look a handful of ways team sports can help your child develop their social skills.
Team effort: Team sports are all about collective effort. No one is bigger than the team and everyone needs to pull together in order to be successful. Being part of the group helps children learn how to be collaborative, to negotiate when they need to get their point across, and to put the team’s goals above their own when the time calls. These are all vital skills that will serve them well in childhood, teenage years and adult life.
Discipline: Whether your child is involved in easy cricket games during practice or a competitive match in any sport, they need to be disciplined in order to be successful. That means turning up on time, following team rules and fulfilling their role as part of the group. It’s much easier not to bother with any of these when it’s all about the individual. Good teams are highly disciplined, which helps them focus on the details, work together and perform at their best.
Confidence: Being part of a team can give a child a sense of belonging, which in turn can really help them build confidence. As they start to develop their communication skills and own identity within the team, they can start to grow as individuals too. This often leads to them being more confident to push themselves in practice and games. They also realise that they can achieve goals that they might not have thought themselves capable of doing before.
Compassion: Team sports also help children develop compassion for others. Good teams encourage each other and pick each other up when things are going wrong. Group games also teach compassion so that children can learn how to be good winners and losers – this creates a safe environment to make mistakes, learn and improve without fear of recrimination.
Communication: One of the key ingredients for successful team play, whether it’s at a highly competitive level or on the fun side, is effective communication. Communication is a two-way thing, and children can quickly learn how to take on instruction and pass on that information to fellow teammates. A good example is cricket. From playing easy cricket games in practice to competing at match level, children quickly learn how to put these skills into play.
If you play enough group games, you’ll know there are times when you’re winning, and times when you’re not. In those moments, you’ve got to dig deep and find ways to solve problems – and some relationships will be exactly the same. Group games are great for learning how to overcome hurdles in everyday social situations. If your children can identify what’s not working on the field, they’ll be more able to work out what’s not working in a group project or task in the classroom.
Having shared interests. Playing group games can lead to lots of things. It can lead to developing a social circle with your team and making more friends at school. Even if your child doesn’t take their involvement in group games further, they may develop enough of an interest to talk about it at further length in conversation.
As you can see there’s so much more to group games than just winning or losing. Being part of a team can help your child develop social skills that they can take with them into a whole host of situations, tasks and roles throughout their lifetime. And they’ll have great fun along the way too!