HOW DOES COMPETITION HELP MY ADOLESCENT CHILD?

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By Eva Pascual, Marketing department, Sánchez-Casal Academy.

I have two teenage kids who play sports. Both of them compete in the sport they chose, both of them study languages and, of course, as an absolute priority, both of them go to school and attend to their academic obligations. All of these activities will reap their benefits, not only now, but also in their future, and I am convinced that it is the best training at all levels that I can provide for them. However, it can be tough for them to keep up, as they often do not have time for anything else, and sometimes I wonder if it is all too much.

On these occasions I try to evaluate the benefits of each of their “obligations.” The first thing that I ask myself is, what does competing provide for young people, given the investment of time and energy that it demands?

 

 

We know that most young athletes are not going to be professional athletes in the future; however, devoting themselves seriously to their sport requires many hours of work, immense effort, and the involvement of the whole family to facilitate long training sessions, travelling, and competing. It may even be necessary to miss school at times.

When assessing the benefits of sport, the effort culture is the first thing that I think about. I think about the determination and consistency that is required in order to establish routines and do thousands of repetitions, until the exact movements can be automatically reproduced during competition without thinking about it. We are evidently talking about discipline, rigor and a strong work ethic. There’s no doubt that young athletes know how to push themselves to the limit.

Just as important as effort and discipline, learning to manage and organize their time is the next benefit that I value. Young athletes need to spend time on their sport in order to improve, but they never seem to have enough time to attend to all of their tasks. Therefore, it is imperative that they learn to prioritize, to plan their days well, to properly manage their resources, and to control their anxiety. They must become people who are not only effective, but also efficient in managing their time, responsibilities and needs.

 
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It is imperative that athletes learn to set achievable goals. To be self-reflective and realistic about their own abilities is fundamental, but if they are to become the best they can be this must happen at the same time as being enthusiastic, ambitious, and determined. All of this brings with it the benefit of self-confidence, which they gain from knowing that they are capable of setting goals, organizing their work, and achieving their objectives.

One of the main obstacles athletes encounter when trying to meet all of their obligations is that the interests of the sports world and the academic world seem, in many cases, almost antagonistic. Teachers and coaches pressure their pupils in very different directions. As the player improves in the sport, coaches and competition demand more and more from the player. At the same time, academics also become more and more challenging as the students work through completing their studies at school.

This is when the doubts normally arise: is competing worth the effort that it requires? In my opinion, the benefits of sport and competition are so various, that the answer is overwhelmingly YES: it is worth it.

It was exactly as a result of this reflection, combined with the vocation to help all children to develop their talents, that Emilio Sanchez Vicario conceived of and created ES International School.

 
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The main priority of ES International School is the total development of the PERSON, taking special care towards the personal, academic and athletic growth of its students. When teachers and coaches work together on schedules and work plans, they coordinate all the demands placed on the student-athletes, and create the most appropriate plan for each of their tutees. When this happens, young people are able to achieve their best without giving up their dreams.

This is how ES International School helps to guide young people who aspire to achieve their best every day; young people who yearn for perfection, but who also have a practical and realistic outlook on their capabilities; young people who are able to face not only the endless adversities, but also the successes that the future will inevitably throw in their way.

Eva Pascual
Marketing department, Sánchez-Casal Academy

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