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Top 5 Benefits for Children Who Play Hockey

26 July 2023

We have all seen children playing hockey on television. Surrounded by friends, encouraged by coaches and enthusiastic parents shouting on the sidelines, the game is a source of joy and strength for a child. However, what are the benefits of children playing hockey, and what do they mean?

Physical Fitness

Hockey is excellent for physical health and fitness. It gets the heart pumping, the lungs going, muscles moving. That all makes the blood move oxygen and nutrients to cells all over the body, and also moves the lymph of the lymphatic system (immune system), both boosting the immune system and helping all cells to be in a better, healthier condition. Every cell in the body, therefore, benefits from exercise, either directly or indirectly from better circulation from the muscles of the heart to even hair cells. 

Physical Skills 

All skills need practice and continued use to enhance them. Running, jumping, hand-eye coordination, spatial awareness etc. The skill of judging how far away the ball is, is exactly the same skill used to judge how far away a car on the road is. Using a hockey stick as an extension of your hand is similar to using a hammer as an extension of your hand. Hockey provides the opportunity to practise and hone these skills so not only does practising hockey improve a child’s hockey skills, but numerous other activities using similar skills.

Social and Emotional Skills

Hockey is a team sport and requires interaction with others. The game also involves a variety of feelings depending on what happens within practice and games. Winning a game and losing a game feel very different but both are important to know how to cope with. Sore losers or overconfident winners are never fun to be around. Teamwork, listening skills, participation, speaking up, respect, empathy, responsibility, and following rules, are all life skills that are vital for success when dealing with any form of interaction with people at work or in any form of relationship.

Self-esteem and Confidence

Every person is precious and unique, but far too few people - either children or adults - realise their own worth. Hockey provides a means to get the building blocks of good self-esteem and confidence. Success in learning or developing skills, and praise from parents, coaches or teammates helps a child view themselves more positively, and gives them the confidence to try new things.

Outdoor Fun

There are fewer opportunities for children to have fun outdoors safely. Kicking a ball in the street is a thing of the past, but today with computer games there is even less motivation to leave the house to play. There is also a very big difference between having fun and having something to do. 

Experiencing passion and fun is vital to help children recognise it in other parts of their lives, and throughout their lives. The astonishing thing is that all these benefits will benefit a child for the entirety of their lives with skills, habits and ideas that will continue to affect them positively.

Photo by Patrick Case

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