Tuesday, September 20, 2011

Dear Parents, Caregivers and Friends of St Mary’s School,

I spent my weekend well seventeen hours of it anyway, doing the class based component of my Level One cricket coaching qualification.

Like all learning aspects of it took me out of my comfort zone, but equally like all learning it was inherently beneficial. One of the key factors that come up was a discussion about why children play sport. Many people had strong views on the subject (for this purpose all children who attend school are defined as children). Research shows that the reason that most children play sport is to have fun, fun maybe having a laugh or it maybe

enjoying the success/winning. But the next reason differ dramatically from boys to girls: The next strong reasons for a girls wanting to play sport are all based on the social aspects e.g. team spirit to be in a team, team work. For boys the reason that they play is to be good at something, to learn and improve skills and to be fit. While these reasons may differ from child to child the overall picture is that girls focus on their involvement with the team and on skills secondly, while boys focus on skills and competition.

The implications for us as parents, teachers and coaches are obvious. If we want our child to continue to play sport the focus needs to be that, for girls we develop the team and social aspects of the game. For boys they need to be well coached on the technical aspects of the game and to feel that they are improving and can win.

It is important to give our children as much encouragement and support as we can to ensure that they stay involved in positive ex-school activities. Not all people can or even aspire to playing at an elite level but participation in physical activity is a vital component of a healthy lifestyle and the attitude our children learn when you follow them through their life.

Have a great week,

Mike Brosnahan

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