5 Life Lessons for Girls to Learn by Participating in Sport

Ms Kath Sambell OLY, Director of Sport

Our girls always mention that the reason they play sport is to have fun and there are numerous benefits to participating in sport, but what takes place on the field teaches a girl more than just athletic skills or sporting experience. Sport provides a great opportunity for girls to learn valuable life lessons that apply to her life pursuits. As the Honourable Dame Quentin Bryce AD CVO said, “Girls worldwide who play sport are more likely to attend and stay in school, more likely to finish their education, more likely to be in better health and earn higher wages during the course of their lives.”

Here are five life lessons for young girls to learn by doing sport:

  1. The importance of hard work: Sport helps girls to understand success comes down to hard work. When a girl puts in the effort to work hard, she will reap the benefits. Sport reinforces the idea that working hard to hone a skill isn’t valuable just because it improves their ability to execute a skill in a game, but rather, teaches a girl that it’s important to continue to improve and holistically develop herself in all areas of her life. Success isn’t achieved by accident; sport creates the opportunity for girls to strive to achieve their personal best, and to see the results of her efforts.
  2. Perseverance is essential: Perseverance is a quality that plays a key role in the success or failure of many pursuits. It is something neurological that is ingrained in everyone, but still remains a skill that needs to be developed. The reality is, losing can be challenging. It isn’t always easy to progress when faced with adversity, yet when perseverance is developed, a girl is more capable of moving forward in the midst of challenges. Whether on or off the sporting field, your daughter isn’t always going to win, and she needs to be able to bounce back and try again. The merit of sport is that it teaches a girl to win and lose graciously. Learning to cope with disappointment gives girls the opportunity to come back more determined to work hard and achieve their goals.
  3. How to achieve a goal: Sport teaches a girl how to set and achieve goals. Setting goals is essentialbecause it gives a girl a target to reach for and keeps her on track as she strives to achieve them. Coaches and teammates come together to break goals down into achievable steps and to come up with a plan of action – an important skill off the field. One of the key lessons sport teaches girls is to hold themselves accountable. If one of her goals wasn’t achieved, a girl learns that she cannot blame other people or the referees, but needs to figure out what went wrong and what to do differently next time.
  4. How to work in a team: Research suggeststhat occupations requiring communication and people skills are rising fast. As work becomes increasingly technology based, employees will differentiate themselves from others by being able to connect, communicate, understand and build relationships. One of the great benefits of sport is that it teaches a girl how to work in a team. In sport, she becomes a part of something bigger than herself, where the group sacrifices their own individual agenda for the greater good of the team. Sport teaches a girl how to work with others, deal with conflict, manage challenging personalities, trust others and to share the credit with their team mates.
  5. The importance of preparation: In life, and particularly in sport, preparation is critical. A girl cannot rely on her natural talent to succeed – preparation needs to take place. Preparation gives a girl confidence and helps her to stay calm because she will be familiar with different situations. Sport teaches a girl that success isn’t just coming up with the right strategy or ideas, but that it’s what takes place during training, meetings and moments in a changeroom that contributes to winning.

At Kambala our goal is to educate ‘the whole girl’, where academic, artistic, cultural and sporting endeavours are celebrated. To learn more about Kambala’s focus on the whole girl, download our Prospectus.

About Kath Sambell OLY
Kath Sambell is the Director of Sport at Kambala. She is responsible for the delivery of Sport from Years 3 to 12 and is an accomplished former athlete and Olympian in her own right.