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For years, we have heard the argument that playing sports increases a person’s work ethic, time management, decisiveness, and creativity, but the real argument lies in how a person participates in sports. Organizes sports teach athletes to become part of a team, and to trust and depend on others by coming together for a common goal.

Unorganized sports environments such as street games and activities where children are responsible for creating the game and the rules teach the same principles of organized athletics, with the opportunity for creativity, problem-solving, conflict management, and social interactions. While organized sports lay the foundation for children to build on with unorganized settings of the same sports, it is in these settings where true leaders and creative thinkers are born.

The trends today are shifting in practices. More so, coaches are focusing on skills and drills which teach the general principles of a particular sport, but are also incorporating more free play time to practice where athletes compete in small area games, or crossover games which incorporate the rules of multiple sports as a way to insight creativity for their athletes. Athletes who are able to see multiple angles of the same game are the ones who progress quicker than those who are masters of a single skill.

Many athletes form friendships with the other kids on their team and when they interact outside of their organized sport, enjoy continuing playing the sport but with a few modifications. These unorganized games help athletes see even more of their game and allow total creativity as they can attempt new skills without being judged by their peers, develop rules that will be adopted and modified as necessary, and build an overall enjoyment of the sport itself.

Coaches are limited in their ability to motivate their athletes in organized sports to the specific amount of time they have either in a practice slot or a game. These players are given multiple instructions and expected to apply them. These instructions often take multiple practices and even seasons to properly develop; however, if an athlete takes these skills and drills home to practice in a more relaxed atmosphere where they have more time, the progression process is much shorter.

In essence, sports are wonderful for child development, but it is the insertion of the unorganized settings that drives creativity. Encouraging and allowing children to practice and play their respective sports in an unorganized setting will boost creativity in the long run, setting them up for life-long success.