Lightning Fibre’s involvement with the local communities in the areas we operate in is at the centre of our ethos. Which is why we support several local junior sports teams including the Sovereign Saints, Hastings Athletic u10s and the Cavendish School u15s.
Sport is a generational thing. If you played football as a child, in a team, for your school or for any other junior team, the chances are you will encourage your own children to do the same.
Sport stirs passions in people that can’t easily be explained but they are passed on to the children in almost every case, especially in terms of support for a particular team. Following a team or being part of one, gives a person a sense of belonging. That then can be used to develop a sense of security, and it becomes a part of their identity.
On the other hand, if you never experienced this inyour own childhood then you probably don’t see the need to expose your own children to a different and unfamiliar environment.
A junior football team, for example, can be very demanding and it will certainly take up a lot of time with all the weekly training sessions and matches. Yet there are several obvious benefits to being a part of a junior sports team and several more that might not be so obvious.
The habits that a child may develop in such a group will certainly be beneficial and many of them will develop into full-blown life skills!
Let’s break this down to see how this might occur.
Being part of a Team
Let’s start with the most obvious life-skill. Being part of a team will help them to appreciate collective responsibility and understand their role in making a team successful.
Your child will have their own responsibilities within the team environment and their ability to deliver and take pride in their own contribution to the team’s success is a fantastic head start on a life skill that’s sure to be important for the rest of their lives.
Football throws your child in with a whole new group of friends and very often a different cross section of peers from a range of different socioeconomic backgrounds.
This is important to development because it enables children to gain a different perspective and as such will enable them to make better informed decisions as they experience a wider cross section of society. A general ‘broadening of horizons’ is widely accepted as a positive influence in developing children.
Disappointment is simply part and parcel of playing and supporting any sports team. Regular life lessons in the form of disappointments can help your child develop the mental strength to be able to cope with inevitable defeats and strengthen their resolve and ability to ‘bounce back’.
On the other hand, success is the aim of any sport. Opportunities to celebrate success in a mature and magnanimous way is a highly important life lesson.
It may be a last-minute penalty or a particularly important match. Whatever it is, being exposed to high pressure situations can really help to develop character and maturity in young people. Coping with high pressure situations is clearly an important life lesson.
As a member of a team, it will fall on each player to do their part as the rest of the team depends on them to perform their role.
Responding in a positive way does not always come naturally to most young people but playing sports can help enable them to be strong in the face of pressure.
Encouragement can play a very significant role in the emotional development of any child and sports offer countless opportunities for this. A good coach is usually quick to praise their players for playing well and as they develop their skills. They often become a familiar and supportive figure that they feel they can rely on for an encouraging word from time to time.
Having something to take pride in can be a huge boost to a young person’s own confidence and sense of worth.
Some may struggle in other areas of their life (such as with academic work), and sport can give young people an outlet into something that they can take pride in. This builds confidence which can help with those other areas too.
The desire to win can be a compelling drive in a young person’s life. If controlled properly, healthy competition can provide a reason to keep improving and focus the mind. It gives a sense of both fun and achievement. Combined with a tempered sense of disappointment when not winning, competition is great for a person’s development.
High levels of discipline are often required to be successful in any sport, team or otherwise. Whether through self-discipline in achieving personal goals, or in maintaining respect the authority of the referee or coach, a young person will develop a sense of discipline that will stay with them.
Health and Fitness
It may seem obvious, but it is clearly one of the major benefits of being in a sport’s team or club. Good levels of fitness are important to be able to play even playing for a short time in most sports. Any small amount of exercise is going to have a substantially positive effect on the overall health of your child.
Find out more about some of the teams Lightning Fibre support: