As a mom of two boys and a wife of a sports fanatic, to say that I am surrounded by sports would be an understatement! ESPN Sports Center plays in the background as I get ready for work in the morning and as I drift to sleep at night. When I walk through the front door after work, I am often greeted by my sons immediately throwing me a football, basketball or baseball, depending on the sport in season. My sons regularly procrastinate before bedtime by quizzing me on player stats and the latest scores. And my past few Mother’s Day and birthday gifts have included t-shirts from a wide array of sports teams including the Nationals, Redskins, Capitals and Michigan. Although it has taken time for me to adjust to a world of 24-7 sports, I have realized that there are many educational, physical and emotional benefits to my children’s love of sports:
1. Math Skills – My 5-year-old’s addition, subtraction and multiplication skills have advanced incredibly as his love for sports has grown. In fact, there is a direct correlation between his math acumen and the current sports season. During basketball season he learned to add, subtract and multiply by 2′s and 3′s. As we’ve moved into football season, he has become well-versed in addition and multiplication by 7′s and 3′s as he calculates a team’s score with a touchdown or field goal. By calculating the time remaining in the halves in football, quarters in basketball and periods in hockey, he has also become familiar with the concept of fractions.
2. Geography – My 3- and 5-year-olds frequently inquire about where sports teams are geographically located. We often look at the U.S. and world maps to familiarize them with the location of the opposing team or to pinpoint in which city a particular college is located. Through their love of basketball, football, baseball, soccer and hockey, they have learned about a multitude of cities throughout the country and across the globe.
3. Physical Fitness – Through their love of watching sports, children inevitably develop a love for playing sports, and my boys are no different. Because of their love of sports, they remain physically active.
4. Teamwork – When watching team sports, children learn how players work together in order to achieve a common goal. I have seen my sons apply these principles on the court and in school when playing sports and participating in other group activities.
5. Work Ethic and Leadership Skills – They have also been introduced to the concept and benefits of hard work ethic. They realize that shooting baskets or throwing a spiral may not be as easy as it looks on TV and the only way to master these skills is through hard work and practice.
6. Bonding with Dad – The most positive outcome of my boys’ love of sports is the bond that they have formed with their dad. They are constantly running to dad to discuss the latest scores or players’ stats. Our weekends are filled with all three of my boys (my husband and two sons) playing and watching sports together. It is heartwarming to see that my husband’s passion for sports has translated to the boys and is now something that they can all share together.
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