Last week I had the opportunity to coach the varsity girls basketball team at the ACSC tournament in Chiang Mai, Thailand. While there, I reflected about the time and effort being put forth by the athletes and teams as well as the schools. When you think about it, here was a bunch of girls missing almost a week of school, traveling to another country, staying away from home, etc, for this tournament. The host school was sacrificing time, facilities, money to make this competition happen. Why? Why does Dalat promote and encourage students to get involved in sports and or other extra-curriculars?
One of the main reasons is that so much about life (education for life) can be learned through these activities that take place outside of the classrooms. There is so much about life that cannot be learned in a book. They have to be experienced. Recently I came across a list of skills that transfer from sports to the working world:
- Teamwork: Athletes learn how to work effectively as part of a team.
- Communication: Athletes learn important communication skills by playing on the team.
- Emotions: The ability to manage their emotions effectively is learned by athletes.
- Tenacity: An understanding that to succeed you need to work hard is a part of sports.
- Determination: For athletes to succeed they must develop high levels of determination.
- Pressure: Sports will often put athletes in positions where they must handle pressure well.
- Goal Setting: Every team and individual athlete sets goals for themselves.
- Self-Discipline: To get in shape and learn new skills is a big part of being an athlete.
- Concentration: Developing athletic skills and team play involves high levels of concentration.
- Commitment: To be a successful athlete takes commitment.
This list is not even complete. I can think of another 5-6 ways in which sports develops life skills in its athletes. But this is not just an article about sports. The fact of the matter is that very similar lists can be made for drama, forensics, boy scouts, music, student leadership, etc, etc. We might call these activities “extra” but in reality that are not extra, they are vital for a well rounded education. Encourage your children to get involved in all the extra’s that are a part of Dalat.