You can learn a lot of life lessons from sport.
If anyone is any doubt, look at what happened at the end of Sunday’s NBL game against the Perth Wildcats. With just one second remaining, Cedric Jackson’s shot from three-quarters of a court length (about 20m) went straight in the hoop – giving the Breakers an unlikely 89-87 victory.
You can watch a video clip below.
Sport is not always a popular option. It’s easy to let other people be part of a school team, or stay silent when a teacher asks who’s interested in playing badminton. On chilly winter mornings it’s far more appealing to stay in bed than get up and go swimming. Sometimes it’s easier to carry on playing on the PlayStation or Xbox than going outside for a game of touch with your friends.
Aside from getting fitter and feeling better about yourself, sport can teach you a lot of valuable life skills that it’s hard to get from somewhere else:
Developing stamina and determination. The Breakers never gave up. Cedric Jackson wouldn’t have even been in a position to score had he and his team-mates not kept playing hard even when losing.
[su_youtube url=”https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=MIl5FUv_DSk” height=”420″][su_youtube url=”https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=plwVRYEQG_I” height=”420″][/su_youtube]
Team work. Jackson might have taken the shot to score three points, but he can’t claim the glory – it’s a team sport. In life, we rely on each other to help us. If you set goals and aims, you’re not on your own trying to reach them. Teachers, friends, families are all wanting you – like Cedric Jackson and his team mates – to succeed.
Everyone has something to offer. Jackson made the wonder shot, but someone else on the team has to be a star tackler, someone else the tactician, someone else the decoy runner, someone else the amazing dribbler and so on. Everyone has a role to play – even if it’s not scoring the final points.
Practice. Keep working hard, keep refining skills. Acquire new ones and look to put them into practice.
Getting feedback from coaches and teachers is important. Feedback is not the same as negative criticism: it’s designed to make you a better sports player; it’s to make you a stronger, higher-achieving student.
Try new things. No one would’ve minded if Cedric Jackson had missed the shot. He had a go. He took a risk. He tried something out.
Sport teaches all of us many things – whether we watch it or play it. And, like in our classrooms at school, sport teaches us how to celebrate success.
And, when was the last time you did something for the first time?
[colored_box color=”green”]This is an opinion-based article designed to provoke debate, discussion and further inquiry
amongst your students:[/colored_box]
[colored_box color=”yellow”]Critical Thinking Challenges:
1. Sport might teach many valuable life skills, but what’s wrong with sport?
2. Many sportsmen and sportswomen are used as role-models. Do you think that this is a good thing? Do professional athletes (or anybody famous) have a responsibility to set a good example?
[colored_box color=”green”]Practical Tasks:
1. It’s still early on in the school year and many classes are drawing up class treaties, agreements, behaviour plans, social contracts and so on.
Design a sports-themed class agreement for the term or for the year.
What could one that’s based on sport look like for your class? How could you include everyone? What positive behaviours would you, your classmates and your teacher like to encourage?
2. “When was the last time you did something for the first time?” Ask that question to some of your classmates or teachers. Compile their comments and answers. Do their answers surprise you? Make a display with people’s photos or pictures and comments.
[colored_box color=”red”]Have Your Say:
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