Why are Sports Important for Children?1
Engaging in sports has many benefits for children. Apart from physical benefits, it also helps create healthy habits that last a lifetime. Sports are an important part of general education and are necessary for all-round development in children.
Engaging in sports helps children learn to control their emotions and positively channel negative emotions, as well as develop patience, resilience, and perseverance. There are also emotional, social, physical, and moral benefits, as children learn the values of fair play, hard work, team spirit, and so on.2
How is Math Linked to Sports?3
While most of you are aware of the applications of mathematics in the fields of science and technology, are you aware of the far-ranging benefits of math that go much beyond these subjects?
Math is everywhere and in everything—from running errands and managing money to measuring progress. It is used in a wide variety of fields, including music, architecture, technology, medicine, and sports, among others.4 Math has become increasingly important in sports with the advancement of technology in recent years.
Math is used in sports for everything, from calculating scores to average points, scoring goals, winning scores, creating leaderboards, developing strategies, and calculating probability.
How can Math Assist Children in Improving Their Sports Performance?
Math is one of the first subjects children learn at an early age, and this promotes quick learning and fast calculation. Children who have a firm base in math can calculate faster, which can have numerous benefits as it is part of our daily lives, including sports.5 Math plays a vital role in many aspects of sports, from something as simple as collecting performance data to measuring world records.3
Below are some simple examples of how math can impact sports performance.
Thanks to incredible technological advancements, almost everything has become trackable today. Most children who engage in sports activities are likely to use smartwatches or apps to track their performance. For example, running, cycling, swimming, etc. These tools provide statistical information and data regarding distance covered, heart rate, and average speed, among other things. They also allow children to set targets and track their achievements and performance over a period of time.
This data can be incredibly helpful in tracking the child’s performance and progress in every session. Knowing how they are doing and where they are lagging can help children determine what needs improvement and keep them motivated to achieve their goals.
- Key Performance Indicators7
Key Performance Indicators (KPIs) are extremely important in sports as they help children gauge their performance and evaluate the players on their team. KPIs almost directly translate the performance of every player and each team, help compare players and hypothetical scenarios, and keep track of growth.
Knowing percentage and fraction can be helpful here, as KPIs refer to the team or player performance over the course of a series of games or goals scored.
Statistics are an important factor in the sports world as coaches plan training strategies and train their wards based on them. Statistics are essential when discussing a player’s statistics, preparing formulas for specific players, and judging the scores of players. Fans use statistics in understanding commentary and making predictions about winning outcomes in fantasy leagues. It is one of the most central factors in understanding how games are played and understood.
So children who understand statistics well can bargain for signing better deals and challenge themselves to raise above stats of other players and their own older stats whenever and wherever necessary. Understanding the importance and basics of statistics can help children set concrete goals for themselves.
- Data Analysis9
Data analysis can boost not just sports performance but also safety and health. There are many apps that provide a performance summary of game events. For example, in basketball, the rebounds, blocks, and steals together count for a player’s defensive score. This number summarizes how each player has contributed to the team’s overall defense.
This data can be used by coaches to review scores for any game and study the players. Similarly, there are other devices that can be attached to players that use Global Positioning System (GPS) technology similar to smartphones. The device can calculate each player’s position every second, as well as their speed and distance traveled.
This type of data analysis provides useful information because these performance numbers must be captured accurately and will most likely remain difficult to measure manually.
From Usain Bolt, the iconic and unbeatable Jamaican sprinter, to Javier Sotomayor, the Cuban who holds the world record for high jumps, people are breaking world records by achieving these amazing feats. They accomplish them using natural talent and hard work but also incorporate continuous measuring and monitoring of performance to identify the areas of improvement.6
Modern technology has allowed us to keep track, record, and store data in real-time. It has enabled fast decision-making and detection of problems, and working on solutions has become increasingly efficient. The role of math is essential in almost all sports and at all levels, either through human intelligence or the use of technology.
Sports involve not only physical activity but also strategy, logical thinking, statistics, and calculation. From the most complex formulas and equations to the simplest of ideas and calculations, math is everywhere in sports. You could step up your game by engaging with mathematics to a whole new level.
- Developing life skills through sports | healthdirect. (n.d.). Retrieved April 21, 2022, from https://www.healthdirect.gov.au/developing-life-skills-through-sports
- The Importance of Sports for Children. (n.d.). Retrieved April 21, 2022, from https://novakdjokovicfoundation.org/the-importance-of-sports-for-children/
- Learn the Role of Maths in Sport | Importance of Maths. (n.d.). Retrieved April 21, 2022, from https://www.superprof.co.in/blog/maths-teacher-for-sports/
- Colli, E., Nemenzo, F. R., Polthier, K., & Rousseau, C. (n.d.). Mathematics is everywhere. Retrieved April 21, 2022, from www.mpe2013.org
- Understanding the World Through Math | Asia Society. (n.d.). Retrieved April 21, 2022, from https://asiasociety.org/education/understanding-world-through-math
- What’s maths got to do with sport? Enhancing performance with numbers. (n.d.). Retrieved April 21, 2022, from https://education.casio.co.uk/blog/whats-maths-got-to-do-with-sport
- How Learning Mathematics Helps Athletes Succeed. (n.d.). Retrieved April 21, 2022, from https://www.linkedin.com/pulse/how-learning-mathematics-helps-athletes-succeed-dr-aditya-nagrath?trk=articles_directory
- Mathematics in Sports. (n.d.). Retrieved April 21, 2022, from http://jwilson.coe.uga.edu/EMAT6680/Huffman/Mathematics%20in%20Sports/MathematicsSports.html
- Why sports are becoming all about numbers — lots and lots of numbers | Science News for Students. (n.d.). Retrieved April 21, 2022, from https://www.sciencenewsforstudents.org/article/why-sports-are-becoming-all-about-numbers-math-tech