In part 2 we established that play varies through the development stages of a child's life; preparatory, play, and game stages. Now we can look at how play in different sports can transfer to each other and further compliment development.
首先，让我们看看我们能不能够把运动再细分一下，根据 sportanddev.com 的定义，运动时“范围超过了竞技运动的体育活动，包含了所有能够促进身体健康的形式：玩耍、休闲、有组织的、非正式或者竞技性的运动。”在这篇文章中，我们将分析两种形式：个体运动和团体运动。
Firstly, according to sportanddev.com a sport can be defined as ‘physical activities that go beyond competitive sports, these include all forms that contribute to physical fitness that includes: play, recreation, organized, casual or competitive sport.’ For the purposes of this blog, we’re going to analyze two forms of sport; individual and team sports.
Play in a team sport requires a ‘team' and usually a set of rules built around a particular scoring objective. Within these rules and boundaries, the game is open to experimentation and manipulation. To help us understand play in team sports let's take a look at two of the most common sports in the world; football (soccer) and basketball. Each sport has very minimal requirements to play as you can see in the pictures. Quite often just space, a ball, and some players are needed.
Football requires nothing more than a ball and playing surfaces (of any kind). From the beaches in Brazil to the hard brick and concrete streets of Europe, football can be played anywhere at any time! Basketball, on the other hand, requires a net and a ball that can bounce and it is more difficult to just play anywhere. However, as a result of government and private funding initiatives, it’s quite easy to find a court to play on.
Individual sports are played by one person, usually with a coaching team behind them to help get the best in their performance but ultimately it comes down to one person performing.
Play in an individual sport might look totally different depending on the sport, in martial arts, for example, they use a lot of ‘shadow' techniques where imagination is used to simulate scenarios. In gymnastics, play can look a lot like skill acquisition but is actually a form of experimentation and stretching previously learned actions.
What do you notice about the four sports chosen above for our study? Yes, two involve a team and two are individual but look a little deeper, what are you seeing? These images are taken from young children ‘playing’ in different sports. Play here is deliberate and experimental and can have wide-ranging goals and objectives whether it's skill acquisition or competition. What is obvious is that play in a sport usually leads to some kind of goal or outcome for the participant.
What all these sports have in common is that they complement each other in several ways. Let's break down each sport given above and note some of the key benefits of each:
Looking at the list above think to yourself about which key benefits could be transferred from one sport to another. Is it fair to say that most if not all of those skills could be easily transferred to another sport? The idea of teaching the mind before muscle from Brazilian Jujitsu, for example, could relate to being calm under pressure and making fast/good decisions in sports like football or basketball. The idea of transferable skills in sport is not new and also apply to the world of work. UK Sport has undertaken research into creating a top 10 list of skills that sport can help within the world of employment: http://www.uksport.gov.uk/news/2016/11/01/top-10-crossover-skills. Skills such us adaptability, communication, ability to recover, and a winning mentality to name a few.
Furthermore, consider the benefits of doing specific sports like gymnastics & yoga alongside football in relation to developing flexibility, coordination, and balance, and consequently injury prevention. Manchester United legend Ryan Giggs actually credits yoga and gymnastics to the prolonging of his career, he says; "It helps me train every day and has given me the flexibility and strength not only to play the game but to train as well" he is one of many athletes that use the second sport to complement and enhance performance.
The physical development opportunities are quite obvious from playing multiple sports, but probably the biggest benefit of playing a range of sports is the social interactions that kids can experience. Trying a second sport helps kids build relationships in a different environment with different game rules, coaching styles, playing equipment and challenges.
For example, in Jiu-Jitsu they’ll be working with a partner to take them down and try to control them. This action takes not only a huge amount of understanding and appreciation of their partner and the role they play in their development but also the self-awareness and clarity of thought to make and execute good decisions under pressure. Compare that to basketball or football where they’ll be working in a team to devise a strategy to break down their opponents and be asked questions such as: “how do we use our unique skills to dominate our opponents?” or "what is our specific roles within this team?” this presents unique opportunities to communicate and work together.
This challenges them to be adaptable and humble people. The life skills taught from play in sport are unique and in often cases can’t be replicated in other aspects of life, that’s why this journey of play is so important in a young person’s life and will have a lasting impact on them as they grow up.
Play for life!
Côté, J., Baker, J., & Abernethy, B. (2003). From play to practice: A developmental framework for the acquisition of expertise in team sports. InJ.L. Starkes & K.A. Ericsson (Eds.), Recent advances in research sports expertise (pp. 89–110). Champaign, IL: Human Kinetics.
Côté, J., Baker, J., & Abernethy, B. (2007). Play and practice in the development of sports expertise. In G. Tenenbaum & R.C. Eklund (Eds.), Handbooksportsportpsychology (pp. 184–202). Hoboken, NJ: JohnWiley & Sons.