Leadership in Sport
To really get the most out of sport education it is important to teach it in the appropriate way. When trying to teach leadership skills, martial arts have been shown to be quite efficacious. However the martial arts must be taught in the correct way. When the sport is taught with a philosophy of respect, patience, honor and responsibility, students exhibited a decreased amount of delinquency. When martial arts was taught with an emphasis on self-defense and free sparring, the positive effect of decreased delinquency was not seen.
Attitudes Towards School
Studies have shown that when sports education is introduced into schools, attendance goes up. However, students react differently to sports activities that are recreational versus those that are more competitive. In some situations sports can keep students away from school if the thrust is too competitive.
Among those students who are most likely to feel excluded from school and would have a tendency to stay away, the availability of sports in school, in addition to well-placed school furniture, can contribute to improved attendance among the at-risk population. Sports activities in school can often be a happy way to draw children and young people towards better attendance in school.
However, there are studies that show that over doing competitive youth sport can be a turn-off to some students. On the other hand there are many cases in which coaches, and sometimes parents too, push young athletes to drop their studies so they can dedicate all of their time to sports. Unfortunately this behavior is not rare.
Despite the concrete evidence that children need physical education to develop holistically, many countries around the world have limited or eliminated the physical education components of their curriculum. UNICEF, the United Nations Children’s Fund, has identified sport and play as fundamental for a proper education and is part of the human right to optimum development that all children all over the world are entitled to.
Many countries believe that as long as they are providing an appropriate school setting, with classroom furniture in good repair, a teacher, and school desks, they have done their job. But this is not the case. Physical education is crucial, but it is being challenged as a value in the following ways:
• The amount of time allotted to physical education is being reduced
• The number of trained staff dedicated to physical education is in decline
• The amount of time and resources allotted to train physical education teachers is being reduced, with the amount of money used for other aspects of physical education programs being slashed.
According to UNICEF the past ten years has not seen much improvement in the attention school sports has received, but there are efforts being made to help children get involved in sports, whether it is in the school setting or in the community in sport programs outside of school.
All educators agree today that students need to get out of their school chairs frequently to increase their ability to absorb more information when they are sitting at their school desks. It has been proven scientifically that physical activity is essential to the holistic development of youth. Not only is physical health fostered, but so is the social and emotional health of children who are engaged in rigorous activity.
So what is so special about sport in school? There is no question that children learn a lot while engaged in sports activities. Students improve their motor skills development, performance and educational potential. There is a strong correlation between physical activities and psychosocial development.
In addition, recent research has revealed that play is the most important way children learn when they are beginning their educational careers. Play is a basic foundation for development; it is the way they learn new skills. Physical education and sport only add to this concept of play as a vehicle for learning. Sports activities also help children develop a long list of values and social skills, including:
• Respect-for others and for themselves
• Understanding rules and adhering to them