Sport and education: two fundamental pillars of youth development

Johan Cruyff, one of the best footballers and coaches in history, an eternal legend at FC Barcelona and Ajax Amsterdam, was one of the pioneers in the world of football in linking sport and education.

Some of Barça’s best youth players passed through his hands and he always said that La Masia, beyond being a sports school to train sportsmen, should become a space capable of teaching young people about academic and personal matters.

Children with a passion for sport are trained for life. We just have to try to take advantage of the values offered by sport and transfer them to the educational sphere, something that is not always easy.

Sport and education in the training of young people

When talking about education, the focus must be placed on the acquisition of knowledge and this objective must be taken to a more ambitious goal, the integral formation of the human being. Under this conception, education and sport go hand in hand.

Physical activity and competition provide a number of essential health benefits in the early stages of life, so it is worthwhile to integrate sport into education and to do so effectively.

This means that it is not enough just to include physical education as a compulsory subject in primary and secondary education, but to design systems that are complementary. Educationalists and experts in education, as well as health specialists, point to the need to promote sport beyond school, with extracurricular activities that encourage companionship, healthy living and learning through leisure and enjoyment.

In this sense, it is important to introduce the concept of competition in an appropriate way, encouraging children to be better sportsmen and women, but assuming a healthy idea of this term. In the early years of life, in infancy and primary school, it is preferable that children learn the rules of sport rather than trying to achieve very competitive results.

It is also a good idea to introduce them to various sports and let them decide for themselves which one suits them best. Once they acquire a certain competitive level, when their results are already outstanding, is when they can choose one sport or another.

SLAM School, education and sport all in one

At SLAM School we offer personalised academic programmes for each student. In them, we place special emphasis on the world of sport, with the promotion of sports such as golf, football, horse riding and sailing.

Our facilities are fully equipped to train the leaders of the future and serve as the first step in the careers of professional sportsmen and women. The school has sufficient space, and amply equipped, to provide all the training needs of the students.

At the same time, in this combo of disciplines we also introduce art. We can therefore speak of education, culture and sport. Our wish is that the children and young people who pass through the centre enjoy and mature during their formative stage, leaving it as boys and girls capable of facing today’s competitive world of work.

How sport helps to improve education

Sport is another means of education, especially school sport. When people train or compete, they experience emotions, and it is in these moments that the focus can be placed on values such as companionship, respect, humility, the ability to excel and a sense of belonging. All of this ends up helping children to develop as people.

Organise your time better

Children who practice sport learn to manage their time better. Training hours must be made compatible with their daily routine and accompanied by good educational results. This is internally embedded until they achieve better time control in their day-to-day life.

Culture of effort

Another of the benefits of sport is that children value positively the results and the effort involved in achieving them. This is a great learning experience for the future, because in their adult life they will not achieve everything quickly and easily. Sporting competition develops patience.

Accepting defeat and managing frustration

This point is closely related to the previous one. In sport, you don’t always win. Michael Jordan, perhaps the most iconic sportsman in history, reflected on this idea, assuming that it was precisely losing so many games that led him to success.

Enjoying quality leisure time

Sport is also a very enriching, playful and fun way of learning. It allows learning through enjoyment, dedicating quality time and health to this activity.

Sport and education are two concepts that go hand in hand. There is no quality education and proper cognitive and physical development that does not combine both ideas. At SLAM School we are fully aware of this, hence our interest in including both facets in an integrated way.