We sometimes get this question about what sports are best for kids and their overall brain development. Here are a few sports we recommend to students for better brain development and even for improving their abilities for team sports later on!

Students who are successful participants in individualized precision sports are not often seen in our office at Synap2it Learning Development. Why? Precision is the answer.

The best sports for brain development include individual sports such as:

  • gymnastics,
  • diving,
  • figure skating,
  • tennis,
  • golf,
  • swimming
  • dance

These sports all require high precision abilities in the area of sensory integration. What else do these sports have in common?

Crossing the Midline

Each of these sports requires THE PLAYER TO CROSS THE MIDLINE OF THE BODY. The sense of left and rightness and body awareness with and without the use of your visual system is also a key ability necessary in order to read, physically write a composition, and align and perform mathematical equations.

Early sensory integration training will pay big dividends later on at school and in team sports later on!Click To Tweet
Precision in Body Movements

Each of these sports requires PRECISION IN BODY MOVEMENTS. Muscle memory and the ability to consistently perform prescribed large body movements with accuracy is necessary for the fine motor control necessary for good handwriting. Good handwriting is linked to positive learning outcomes like higher reading fluency, better grades, and writing activates the brain more than keyboarding because it involves more complex motor and cognitive skills.

Standardized Testing Measure

Balance and Spatial Awareness

Each of these sports ENCOURAGES BALANCE AND SPATIAL AWARENESS. Being able to keep the body in balance requires mental focus and attention. Being able to control one’s body, sit still, and remain attentive to visual and auditory instruction is key in any endeavor. If a student is constantly moving and trying to keep their bodies in control, they don’t have much energy left to attend and process the information being delivered in the classroom. Students who are out of balance constantly drop things and spend time locating those things under their desks and gathering themselves back together. They are most certainly missing out on valuable instruction.

Getting students started in these kind of precision sports (gymnastics, tennis, swimming, karate, etc…) early on will even pay big benefits in group sports later on.

A goalie has to have good spatial body awareness. A quarterback or receiver must exhibit good balance and ability to throw or accept the ball across the midline of the body. A basketball player must cross the midline of the body to accomplish a lay-up.

These are some of the skills that we address at Synap2it! Learning. If you have a child who just does not enjoy or do well at these kinds of activities, it could be a clue and even relate to their academic success.

Early sensory integration training will pay big dividends later on at school and in team sports later on!


About the Author Renee Anderson

The founder & director of EducationPathways and Synap2it! Learning Center, Renee Anderson is a veteran educator whose career spans over 25 years in both public and private schools. During this time, she has worked in regular classroom settings, special education and in intervention. She became an SOI Structure of Intellect Advanced Trainer in 1996, achieved the SOI Associate designation in 2001 and now acts as a National Trainer and Senior Program Consultant for SOI Systems, Inc. Learn more

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