School sports days are well and truly upon us! With each school in the area hosting a ‘sports day’ where students compete in multiple athletic activities. Most schools use a ‘house’ system, where the different houses compete against each other for the house cup – this is intended to create pride and healthy competition amongst peers.
There is much controversy around encouraging competitiveness in students with the fear of damaging pupils self esteem.
Messages about sports day can be confusing! Is taking part enough or does everyone have to be a winner? What do schools do about parents who are over eager for their child to succeed? How can a teacher encourage the children to get involved without it being just another area of competition? How do you make the many losers feel good too? And what if it rains?
This brings us to our topic – It’s just as important to teach our children to be ‘good sports’ as it is to be good at sports!
If we are offering “education for life”, then children need to experience competition and to be taught sympathetically to deal with all the outcomes.
Learning to work as a team to achieve a goal is a good life lesson. Students should be encouraged to support and motivate one another to achieve success, this will benefit children long after school
Some kids are not naturally sporty and that’s okay but healthy competition is still good for them!
There is something pretty delightful about watching kids share the experience of winning. All that praise for losing aside… it’s pretty fun to be on the winning side.