What do you need to enjoy sports?
If you think sports is reserved only for the best of us, for those with the fittest and the strongest able body and mind, then it’s time to change your perspectives. Sports is beneficial for all. More importantly, sports doesn’t differentiate. Where disabilities might be an obstacle in some social or professional situations, sports, as an activity, often offers for many the chance to be part of a team or a community, regardless of the malfunctions or other-functions of your mind and body. Everyone can grow physically, psychologically, socially and emotionally through the means of a sports activity. So why don’t you give it a go?
You develop your leadership skills
There is no denying that young people can learn essential pre-leadership skills, from organization to project management via sports programs. However, there is very little initiative regardless sports programs for youth with disabilities. In fact, most programs available for disabled people are labelled “special”, and, to add insult to injury, they are generally managed by nondisabled leaders. But, you’d be surprised to know that there is a thirst in the disabled community for sport leadership programs for youth with a disability. Ultimately, leadership skills aren’t reserved for nondisabled individuals. For someone with a disability, organization, task management and decisional process are accessible skills.
You can learn new skills every day
But how can a disabled kid participate in a sports activity, you ask. The answer is obvious. By creating teams of individuals with similar abilities and disabilities. Ultimately, as nobody is born a naturally gifted player, there are institutions to train and learn your skills, such as here for football enthusiasts. Whether a child uses a wheelchair or has autism, all it takes to learn the right skills is to be taught by a coach who understands their issues. Disability is no obstacle to improving your skills!
You learn to work with a team
Youth sports don’t only help young people to develop their leadership skills. They also learn to work together as a team. This means resolving conflicts together, communicating effectively, being accountable to each other and working towards a common goal. Team building and team effectiveness are the kind of skills everybody needs in future life. And there’s no denying that kids who play sports have a deeper understanding of teamwork. So why should parents of disabled kids keep these skills away from them?
Disabled doesn’t mean unable
It’s time to spell it out in clear and understandable words. People with disabilities are not unable or weak. In fact, you’ll be surprised to know that disabled athletes are just as strong as able-bodied athletes. In other words, it’s essential as a parent to encourage kids with disabilities in their passion. If your kid is a sports lover, there’s nothing wrong with letting them play. It’s the defensive overprotectiveness of some parents that transforms a disabled child into someone who can’t do anything.
In conclusion, sports is a field where disabilities can be ignored. With the right training and access to the most relevant teams and programs, there’s nothing that stops a disabled child to learn the same skills than a nondisabled kid.