The gains of starting out with sports at an early age are numerous. Research has shown that sports contribute to psychological well-being by reducing anxiety and depression and enhancing self-esteem. Sports help kids think critically and solve problems, build self-discipline, trust, respect for others, leadership and coping skills, all of which form the foundation of character building and of course, sports develop the mind/body connection by strengthening the body and training the mind to use it for action and reaction.
All these facts are backed by evidence of how some of the world’s greatest sportspeople are those who got involved in the game at an early age. Examples of these greats are names such as our very own Sachin Tendulkar, Maria Sharapova, Lionel Messi, Michael Phelps and the list goes on.
We now take you through the early years of some of these sporting greats and how they were able to succeed and make it to the top:
As a young boy, Tendulkar was considered a bully, and often picked up fights with new children in his school. To help curb his mischievous and bullying tendencies, his brother, Ajit introduced him to cricket in 1984. Tendulkar would practice for hours on end in the nets. If he became exhausted, his coach, Ramakant Achrekar would put a one-rupee coin on the top of the stumps, and the bowler who dismissed Tendulkar would get the coin. If Tendulkar passed the whole session without getting dismissed, the coach would give him the coin. Tendulkar now considers the 13 coins he won then as some of his most prized possessions. Catch Sachin in his younger days here: http://bit.ly/1fCX2Zh
At the age of six, Sharapova attended a tennis clinic in Moscow and was recommended professional training at the Nick Bollettieri Tennis Academy in Florida. With money tight, her father, Yuri borrowed the sum that would enable him and his daughter, neither of whom could speak English, to travel to the United States. Arriving in Florida with savings of US$700, Sharapova’s father took various low-paying jobs, to fund her lessons until she was old enough to be admitted to the academy. In 1995, she was signed by IMG, who agreed to pay the annual tuition fee of $35,000 for Sharapova to stay at the academy, allowing her to finally enroll at the age of 9. A young Sharapova in action here: http://youtu.be/k7pxAjZV9uE
At the age of five, Messi started playing for the Grandoli, a local club coached by his father. By the time he turned eight, he was playing for Newell’s Old Boys. Unfortunately, Messi was diagnosed with a growth hormone deficiency when he was eleven. It was at this juncture that Carles Rexach, the sporting director of FC Barcelona, promised to offer help to Messi by paying for his medical bills only if the latter moved to Spain. Messi was enrolled at the Barcelona’s youth academy and the rest as they say is history! See how a 10 year old Messi used to terrorise defenders even in his younger days at http://youtu.be/PpIUlBbhLFs
Phelps took to swimming at the age of seven. Initially scared of putting his face in the water, he took to floating in the pool and no sooner mastered backstroke. Just when Phelps seemed to get on with his fear, he was diagnosed with attention-deficit hyperactivity disorder (ADHD). However, he worked his way through the condition along with the help of his mother Debbie. Breaking quite a few records, Phelps reeled his way through the Olympic trials to gain himself a seat at the 2000 Summer Olympics. With this, he became the youngest player in 68 years to represent America in the Olympics. See a 11 year old Michael Phelps in full flow at : http://youtu.be/uk3VUtnbWaE
Even our brand ambassador, Yuvraj Singh was one who started playing different kinds of sport at a young age. Tennis and roller skating were Yuvraj’s favourite sports during his childhood and he was quite good at both. He had also won the National U-14 Roller Skating Championship. But his father threw away the medal and told him to forget skating and concentrate on cricket. Yuvraj broke into the Punjab Under-16s at the age of 13 years and 11 months against Jammu and Kashmir-16s.In the ICC Under-19 World Cup 1999/00 which India won, Yuvraj’s all-round performance earned him the Player of the Tournament and a call to the national squad.
To celebrate Children’s day, Sports365 offers a flat 14% off on our junior range of products which runs till 17th November. Use the discount voucher S36514Nov at http://bit.ly/17reg6j to avail this offer. Wishing all our young customers a very happy Children’s Day!