A closer look at the benefits of football
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A closer look at the benefits of football

17 September 2019 By Matthew Pinder – Assistant Buyer for Sports and SEN

Football image blog 2

When Gareth Southgate was appointed the England men’s football team manager, he promised to instil a bold, hungry and fearless attitude into his team. This attitude has been stamped onto England’s emerging talented generation of footballers. This has led to an upturn in England’s fortunes, with a strong performance at the 2018 FIFA World Cup and in this year’s 2019 UEFA Nation’s League.

This new generation’s fearless approach to the game has been inspirational for youngsters across the country, encouraging them to give football a chance. And with the Government’s push on tackling childhood obesity and improving mental health, let’s take a closer look at why football can be beneficial to you and your pupils…

1. Physical improvement
The most obvious benefit of playing football is the physical benefits. Football is a physical sport which requires near constant movement. This will in turn improve the cardiovascular endurance of a participant, which leads to increased stamina and decreased body fat, therefore helping to reduce obesity levels. As little as three 30-minute football sessions per week will suffice to seeing an improvement in all involved. 
Being physically active through playing football will also benefit children in the classroom, as the stimulation from the exercise helps to boost memory and thinking, increasing their learning.

2. Mental stimulation
There are considerable mental benefits to playing football. The physical activity releases hormones that improve a person’s moods, helping them to have a positive mental state.
In addition, football is an intense sport and with the amount of physical activity regular football will provide, participants will experience higher energy levels on a regular basis as the body adapts to a more regular exercise pattern even with just three 30-minute football sessions per week. 

3. Social development
Another major benefit to playing football is the huge social-emotional benefits that can be gained. Not only will an individual’s self-esteem improve from playing in a team sport and being active, but from a social point of view, it gives them the opportunity to create friendships and so develop socially in a way which won’t happen in individual sports or by staying in the classroom.
Football also gives pupils the chance to develop communication and leadership skills, as communicating instructions to each other during the game helps the team to be more organised and ultimately successful.

So why not give football a go, it’s time-effective, inclusive and the difference it could make to your class is potentially substantial!

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