Words from an International School: Building Resilience through Sports

When we think of resilience, we think of situations where people have shown extraordinary bravery or can take on hardships. The fact of the matter is that resilience is commonplace – being able to accept failures or having the grit to try again.

chatsworth school hockey
For children, the ability to bounce back from anything probably also means that they will grow up to be confident and successful adults.

People who are resilient display some typical traits: acceptance, purpose, and flexibility. Parents can build resilience in their children by creating opportunities for them to pick up these skills. Sports is one of the ways to do so.Building Resilience Through Sports, Strategy, teamwork and courage. These are the key ingredients when it comes to being good in a physical sport. No matter the type of sports, we all know that every player within the team plays an important role right down to the person on the reserve bench. Things on the playing field also change frequently and quickly. As such, children who engage in sports will often develop a growth and flexible mindset.

Over the years, our teachers at Chatsworth International School have seen this play out amongst our students. We have observed that playing sports can also build resilience in children by teaching that:
1. Setbacks occur
Winning and losing in a sports event is typical. No matter the amount of training and preparation, it is normal to fall short in the face of tough competition. Going through the rites of passage helps our students to view failures as part of the learning process and to accept them. As a result, they develop an optimistic mindset without being afraid to try again.
2. Hard work pays off
For those who wish to excel in sports, hard work and dedication is a must. Hours of training goes into perfecting a throw or kick, and students need to practice for a certain amount of time. Those who are committed to learning what they can about their chosen sports are usually the ones who perform a lot better. For children, winning a sports competition can also bring about an immense sense of accomplishment, motivating them to do even better the next time. As such, it is a quintessential example of having their efforts pay off.
3. Communication is key
Holding a normal conversation in the middle of a basketball court is almost impossible, with all the players scattered around in a tense environment. To decide on a strategy or gameplay, players will need to learn how to communicate effectively. Therefore, sports can also build resilience by honing collaborative skills which opens the way to forging connections with others. Good communication is essential to emotional resilience as it breeds positive emotions rather than negative ones.
4. Physical health is gold
You may think that resilience is all about the mind, but the truth is that physical health is equally important. A child who knows how to take care of himself by eating right, sleeping well and drinking enough water will have the drive and motivation to maintain all the other pillars of resilience. Sports build resilience by completing the healthy package, and we all know that a healthy body breeds a positive mind.
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