Kids who play sport focus better in class

olympic sportsA 2014 study has concluded that sporting activities and attention skills go hand in hand and can be addressed simultaneously and the findings could help schools better support children who present with attentional difficulties in the classroom. The research was led by Linda Pagani of the University of Montreal / CHU Sainte-Justine children’s hospital. “We worked with information provided by parents and teachers to compare kindergarteners’ activities with their classroom engagement as they grew up,” Pagani said. “By time they reached the fourth grade, kids who played structured sports were identifiably better at following instructions and remaining focused in the classroom. There is something specific to the sporting environment — perhaps the unique sense of belonging to a team to a special group with a common goal — that appears to help kids understand the importance of respecting the rules and honoring responsibilities.”

The study, which had 935 participants, concludes that regular, structured extracurricular sports seem to help kids develop the discipline and self-regulation they need in order to engage effectively in the classroom.” Programs to help parents develop their child’s self-regulation skills and the availability of extracurricular sports programs as early as kindergarten could help decrease the risk of kids being left behind,” Pagani said. “We also hope policy makers consider our findings in order to improve access to parks and playgrounds, where children and their families can engage in sporting activities, to improve access to K12 enrichment programs that target self-regulation skills, and to improve the promotion of active schools and communities generally-speaking.”

Source article: here

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