The value of sport
- Sport education
“Sometimes you win and sometimes you learn”, everything that the Agora International School Madrid students experience through sport
Sport is one of the most effective ways that exist to transmit healthy values and habits. For this reason, in the long run, sport also serves to improve people’s lives and contribute to the advancement and cohesion of societies. For this reason, the United Nations Organization considers physical activity and sport as human rights that must be respected and applied throughout the world. In recent years, the values in sport are being shown in various ways, in fact, there are many institutions, clubs or centers that seek to relate this practice with positive values that can be useful beyond the sports space.
In 2005, the former Secretary-General of the United Nations, Kofi Annan stated: “People in every nation love sport. Its values – fitness, fair play, teamwork, the pursuit of excellence are universal (…)”. This means that there is a wide recognition of the importance of sport and its values. As Alberto Sánchez González, Physical Education teacher and sports coordinator at Agora International School Madrid, said “there are many values that can be acquired with sport. I would highlight teamwork, cooperation, responsibility, solidarity; sportsmanship and respect for the rules, colleagues and the teacher; discipline and fair play, knowing how to win and lose; self-improvement, effort or perseverance; acceptance, self-esteem and self-confidence; and physical health and hygiene, mental and physical well-being ”.
For his part, Pau Gasol says in his lectures that “society needs leaders to guide us along the way, showing us the right direction.” In fact, Nelson Mandela and Ghandi are two figures who inspired the basketball player, two people who do not have much to do with sport but who represent “referential human and personal values”. “I know that my career is going to end, so keeping my values present is fundamental for me.” And leadership precisely means for Pau knowing how to make others better. “The great players are those who by doing their job improve the abilities of their teammates.” But to achieve this “you have to work as a team.”
Physical education and sports develop the brain
Both psychologists and educational experts agree that sport is one of the most effective ways to develop interpersonal skills such as empathy, respect among equals, discipline and inclusion. In addition, it has a positive impact on young people’s mental health and self-confidence, helping them learn to prioritize the opinions and actions of others and themselves. All of this contributes to improving their mental and emotional development. “At a mental level, sports and physical education help them to improve cognitive development in all aspects such as spatial and temporal perception, coordination, acting under” pressure “or under a state of nerves, as well as training mental agility. Also on a social level it helps them to better integrate and to know how to work as a team”, Alberto Sánchez González explains.
Sport is a permanent source of education and culture, since it allows to learn, know, take experiences from others, train in certain disciplines or specialize in any of its areas. We can also refer to the factors that, from sport, empower the human being towards his training and personal growth, based on a solid base of knowledge about himself, as a species and as an individual, and about the environment that surrounds him. “When playing sports, children experience all kinds of stimuli, not only on a sensitive level, but also on a social and motivational level. By doing sports – to quote the Physical Education teacher at Agora International School Madrid – we are more proactive and create habits that are beneficial for the body and mind. Will, perseverance, effort and good social relations are also “trained” and these stimuli are generated by sport “.
Competition in sport: “Sometimes you win and sometimes you learn”
When we ask the sports coordinator of our school about the values students learn by losing or winning in a competition, he offers us a nice lesson. “First – quoting Alberto Sánchez González- we should define what is to lose and what is to win. If we focus on the result it is obvious, but sometimes winning or losing in a competition is not related to the mere fact of a few simple points. Many times being competitive, achieving certain progress raised in training can be better related to winning or losing in a competition. For example, in a competition between a first level team that plays with a lower level team and in which the result is clear, the objective of both could be to make certain plays practiced in training ”.
We could almost say that from failures we can draw more lessons because “if we focus on what we normally understand as winning or losing, –explains the Sports coordinator- what students learn in defeat is to tolerate frustration, namely that they are not always going to get everything they want and accept defeat as an opportunity for improvement. As they say, ‘Sometimes you win and sometimes you learn.’ On the other side of the scale, “in victory they learn that with teamwork, effort and good training they can achieve what they set out to do.”
If we go one step further, with the combination of defeats and victories, students learn that sometimes you win and sometimes you lose. “They learn that anything can happen, to accept it and focus on what is most important: having fun and enjoying that moment of playing sports regardless of the result.”
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