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  • Writer's pictureThe Parents' Guide to

Why summer 2024 will transform your teen's life

A summer of sport is underway, and love it or hate it, did you know it can transform your teen’s life? These huge international events, this year including the Euros, Wimbledon and Olympics, will dominate TV schedules and media coverage. And they'll exert even more influence on your teen than you may think. Here’s why.



Bonding with family and friends

Very often family and friends will get together to watch these sports. Whether it’s a couple of people, or a much wider group, it provides a really good social opportunity which, as we know, is great for mental health. Chatting about what’s coming up or what’s unfolding before us, allows pressure free communication. A chance to bond, without touching upon subjects which teens might find uncomfortable. The focus is often more than just watching the event itself, there may snacks, barbeques or family meals. These take preparation, foster a sense of anticipation and give teens chance to contribute in practical ways that will build their skills for hosting their own social events in the future.

 

Creating a sense of belonging

Sporting events create a powerful sense of community. People may be supporting different teams or players, but all eyes are on one event, often shown live. It’s comparatively rare nowadays for people to be enjoying the same thing at the same time. This can create a feeling of connection among a much wider range of people than your teen would usually identify with. It may broaden their perspective of finding ways to connect where they don’t see natural similarities. This will help them build relationships, both now and later - especially in the world of work.


 

Communicating well

We’ll see performances that astound, inspire and confound! Whether it’s listening to commentators describing the event, reading write-ups afterwards, or speaking to those around them, there’s a wealth of lessons they’ll learn about how these events are discussed. Communication is one of the most important skills that future interviewers will look for, whether that’s for further education opportunities or jobs – and it impacts personal relationships too. Teens rarely get the chance to hear a myriad of voices describing the same thing from different perspectives. Agree or disagree, they’ll discover what resonates with them, what irritates them, which styles have the most impact. And whether they realise it or not, they’ll be influenced and will start to adopt their preferred style.



Healthy hobbies

Watching sports can inspire teens to take up the sport themselves. When the Lionesses won Euros 2022, almost 1,500 new female football teams were registered in England over the following twelve months. As well as being good for physical health, sports bolster mental wellbeing, providing joy for those taking part, a way to decompress and a safe way to meet new people and forge friendships.  

 

Even if your teen doesn’t want to take up sports themselves, they may develop an interest in watching a sport. This has benefits too. It could provide a lifelong hobby enabling them to switch off from everyday stresses and strains on a regular basis, experience new things by travelling the country (or the world) to watch sport live, and build different friendships based on shared interests – at home and away.

 

Finding career inspiration

Not everyone’s going to become a professional sportsperson, but watching sports can reveal job opportunities your teen hadn’t considered. They don’t even need to be sports related!

 

  • Do they have an eye for detail? Perhaps they’d enjoy commentating

  • Are they interested in levels of fitness? Might they want to become a physiotherapist or nutritionist

  • Are they transfixed by the scale of coverage? Could media be the path for them

  • Do they love organization? Perhaps logistics or project management of large crowds might appeal

  • Would they love to work with people? How about the leisure industry – all these spectators need hotels and restaurants outside the game

  • Would they like to inspire the next generation? Could teaching or coaching be their calling


Just for the fun of it

Whether it’s football, gymnastics, tennis or tiddlywinks, we hope you enjoy the summer of 2024. And above everything else, we know they’ll be plenty of chances to have fun with your teen.


Discover what your teen can do after GCSE or sixth form


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