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4 Lessons to Learn from the World Cup

1 Jul 2014 – 04:43 PM EDT

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The World Cup has given us all a serious case soccer fever. Whether you follow the sport or not, the soccer matches are exciting to watch and have the entire world talking. Aside from being fun family entertainment, there are many teachable moments while watching the World Cup.

The Importance of Team Work. Soccer is a quick paced, physically grueling sport. The players on the team must work together and anticipate their teammates’ moves in order to be successful.

Perseverance. Unlike other sports, the clock doesn’t stop in soccer. The players just keep moving. Even when a player falls, they get back up and keep going.

Good Sportsmanship. We’ve all heard the saying, “It doesn’t matter if you win or lose – it’s how you play the game.” While it feels great to win, part of “playing the game” is learning how to lose. It’s admirable when players show concern when their opponent gets injured on the field, and when they congratulate the winning team. Not only does it show character, it’s just the right thing to do. And during the cases, when players don’t display good sportsmanship – you can talk about that too.

Multicultural/Global Awareness. Soccer is a global phenomenon and a great conversation starter. Watching a soccer game with your children is the perfect opportunity to introduce different countries, cultures, languages and even food. It can be a learning experience for the entire family. You can bring out a map or globe and have your kids locate the playing countries. You can talk about the different flags and discuss what the colors and symbols mean. If you’re hosting a party, you can serve food and drinks from other cultures or create a fun soccer themed dessert. We live in a diverse world, the more children are exposed to – the more accepting and knowledgeable they will grow up to be.