Athletics Play an Important Role in Your Child's Development

Athletics Play an Important Role in Your Child's Development

Tuesday, 31 December 2019 09:10

“In order for man to succeed in life, God provided him with two means, education and physical activity. Not separately, one for the soul and the other for the body, but for the two together. With these two means, man can attain perfection.” - Plato 

At St. Paul Lutheran School, we are committed first and foremost to the spiritual and academic development of our students. However, that is not to the exclusion of physical activity and athletics. By integrating academic instruction with regular physical activity, we help our children develop into healthy, well-rounded adults. 

In this article, we are discussing the vital role of physical activity in your child’s educational experience.


Physical Exercise Helps Your Brain

Throughout the school day, we provide opportunities for children to engage in exercise and outside time. Many of our parents ensure their children are engaged in recreational sports and activities outside of school. Why are these things important? When your child is engaged in soccer practice, swim meets, basketball games, tennis tournaments, gymnastics, or whatever they play, they are doing more than just simply having fun. Your child’s active life helps their brains.

A book by renowned neuropsychiatry expert, Harvard professor Dr. John Ratey, in called Spark: The Revolutionary New Science of Exercise and the Brain, details the benefits of exercise for the brain:

  • Exercise “optimizes” a child’s mindset to improve focus, attention, and motivation. 
  • Physical activity causes nerve cells to link to one another, unlocking the possibility to learn new information.
  • Athletic activity gives the shot in the arm new nerve cells in the hippocampus they need to develop in the area of the brain associated with both emotion and memory.

Athletic activity helps students grow stronger physically, while their brains grow more ready for new information.

At St. Paul Lutheran of Northville, Michigan, we want students to have every opportunity to grow and learn. Better fitness leads to higher test scores and better performance in the classroom; therefore, you will find our students actuve every day.

Research Supports the Role of Physical Activity in Education

There is a substantial amount of research regarding the role of physical activity in education. There is no doubt about their correlation:

  • University of Illinois’ Beckman Institute performed research that concluded physical activity improves cognitive performance through the development of white matter integrity.
  • Research completed by the University of Columbia determined regular intense exercise increases the size of the hippocampus in children.

Physical Activity Promotes Character Development

In addition to the benefits of physical activity for the brain, athletics promotes development in children, instilling many positive skills:

  • Teamwork and communication: Team sports require communication between teammates that can foster effective communication in the classroom and ultimately the workplace.
  • Leadership development: Students learn to both lead and follow through sports and physical activity.
  • Sportsmanship: While students play to win, learning how to win humbly and lose graciously is one of the most powerful lessons from athletic competition.
  • Healthy Living: Students who participate in physical activities and sports often learn nutrition and exercise habits that last a lifetime. 

Whether your child enjoys team sports, individual competition, or needs a little motivation to get outside and enjoy Creation, St. Paul Lutheran School is here to help. For more information about our school, and how we help students lead an active life, contact us.