4 Reasons Why Competitive Sports Are Great for Kids

Children often learn by example. Some children learn faster than others, some slower. But, children often need to be exposed to all aspects of life, albeit some of them should be sugar-coated, as much as possible. Other aspects of life should be presented as is, because children have a lot to gain from it. Competitive sports are one of those things. 

Sports and children have always mixed well, for various reasons to be discussed later. Children love playing sports (most of the time) and with proper instructions, can learn a lot about life through sports. Here is why competitive sports are great for children.

Improvement Takes Effort

When a child loses in a competitive sport, it is usually because they weren’t good enough, as is almost always the case with sports. With encouragement and effort, the child can get better and win their competition next time, whether an actual tournament for children, or a local football match against a friend. In order to get better, achieve your goals and win, whether in a competition or something which is internal and personal, one must apply effort and practice. Competitiveness can be used to teach children an important lesson.

Teamwork is Dreamwork

When playing team sports, it is essential for a child to learn how to apply their own effort and when to pass the duty to others. If a child can learn the limits of their body and mind, they can then translate that knowledge later in life. If you are not an expert mechanic, you should call one to fix your car, rather than potentially damage it. The same goes with sports, if you are not a great striker, pass to your friend with the lightning fast shots. If you are bad at defending, leave it to the bulwark and you stick to your strengths, passing. Learning their own limits and how to make use of others’ strengths can be taught through competitive sports.

Physical Benefits

Not only can a child learn about life, but they can also get better physically. Hand to eye coordination, or in sports which include legs and balls, hand to leg coordination, can be taught through sports. One must adapt and learn how to control the ball, and at the same time be aware of their own presence on a field and that of their opponents. That takes considerable coordination, something which can be taught at a young age through competitive sports.

Taking a Loss

Losing is an inevitable part of competitiveness and one will almost always be exposed to it. Losing also happens in life, although not in the same sense.

The important lesson which can be taught here is that losing doesn’t mean everything is over, only that you have things to work on in order to improve and make things better next time.

Competitive sports are great for children (and for adults), for many reasons, as well as those mentioned above. Consider this if your child is spending too much time in docility.

The Eternal Debate: Is Esports a Real Sport?

When talking about sports, people expect competition and something of a rather physical nature, which puts one person or team, against another person or team, to see who is better, and therefore, who will win a prize. For ages, sports have been pretty easy to define, especially for purists. As new ways of competing were invented, people had to make room for them as well, to become new sports and support new challengers. 

That is, until esports became real. Electronic sports, or esports, is a way of competing by using computers or consoles. The athletes are seated, either one next to another, if fighting games are in question, or opposing one another, when team games are played, so that they can never see each others’ screens. 

Many people still question whether esports are actually sports and the eternal debate goes on. Our take on things is pretty positive for esports. We consider them sports and here is why.

Rigorous Practice Schedules

To be a professional in any video game, first you have to master the mechanics of the game. That takes lots of dedication, time, effort and stress. Imagine grinding the training room of Street Fighter IV or V to try out specific combos which are so touch sensitive that even a couple of milliseconds of time sends you back to the start of the combo. Games with strategic elements like MOBAs or tactical shooters have an entire other aspect which you have to master. Since most of them are team games, it means that you will not only have to master the mechanics of the game, but also learn how to function as a team with other people, and then practice different strategies and tactics. A typical working day of a professional gamer is around 12 hours. Some have longer working days, up to 16 hours. Most professionals keep on practicing even after official team practice is over. These schedules are comparable to those of any other “real” athlete.

Injuries

There are plenty of esports athletes who have had serious injuries in their wrists, shoulders, back or necks.

The cynical will say that those injuries came about because of them sitting in a chair all day, while that in fact is not the case. Most teams have physical therapists and doctors on standby, who help design their schedules, which include obligatory physical exercise. Some professionals have had to retire due to injuries.

The Tournaments

Games like CS: GO, League of Legends, Dota 2, Rainbow Six Siege and Fortnite, all have huge competitions and lots of money involved. Most teams have a plethora of sponsors, for example, League of Legends teams are sponsored by BMW, Audi, Kia, Honda and more. These are very serious sponsors, which not only help the teams and the esport in question, but also promote the brands themselves. Tournaments are also sponsored, often by a single large sponsor, and multiple smaller ones, each of them having their own advertising space. 

The IOC Thumbs Up

The International Olympic Committee has reviewed esports titles as a potential candidate for future Olympic Games, though they are cautious about the inherent violence in most esports titles, which goes against the principles of the Olympic Games.

From injuries, prizes, rigorous exercise and the IOC giving their thumbs up, esports should definitely be considered sports.

Poker as a Competitive Sport

Poker belongs to the category of mind sports that require little to no physical exertion but players need to think strategically in order to win. The game of poker is often considered to be both an art and a science. The artistic side is said to be the intuition and creativity that is necessary to play a good hand at the right moment, while the science part is about the mathematical and logical methodology that needs to accompany the intuition for plays to play intelligently.

Because of its popularity, poker is a game played both in person and online. It seems that all online casinos offer poker as their number one game and each one offers their welcome bonus for new players.

Today, the game of poker is dominated by the use of a mathematical approach to decision making, called game theory. The central aim of poker is to make optimal decisions under controlled circumstances with some uncertainty. This approach is ideal for players who wish to save money and play a lot over time. Moreover, being in position is key to great play, for instance, if you are to act last, you can gain valuable information from your opponents and the size of their bets.

In poker, you do not need to have the best hand in order to win. As a matter of fact, you can play aggressively and get your opponent to fold because you fool them into thinking that your hand is worthy of a large pot – imagine the rush you feel when you manage to fool your rivals. Furthermore, it is very important to remain unpredictable and have a varied strategy profile since your opponents will always be looking out for the chinks in your armour or your tendencies to make certain plays – we want to make the game difficult for our opponents but not for us. To make the above more concrete, take as an example a case where we only ever bet when we have an ace, this then makes it really easy for our opponent to adjust his strategies to ours.

Poker is played as a competitive sport all over the world. Here is the list of the biggest poker tournaments in the world:

The World Series of Poker, Las Vegas. The event started in the 1970s and has grown over the years. Players compete for the coveted World Series of Poker (WSOP) bracelet and monetary prizes.

The Crown Australian Poker Championship (Aussie Millions), Melbourne. Held at Crown Casino, it is the richest poker tournament in the South Hemisphere, with a prize pool exceeding A$7 million.

The Asia Pacific Poker Tour. Started in 2007, and sponsored by PokerStars, this event takes place three times a year and is held in Macau, China, Incheon, South Korea and Manila, Philippines.

The European Poker Tour: created in 2004 by John Duthie, this is the largest poker series in the world by prize pool and the number of players.

Finally, here is the list of the most successful professional poker players ranked by their overall earnings:

  1.      Antonio Esfandiari ($23,439,917)
  2.      Sam Trickett ($18,717,124)
  3.      Daniel Negreanu ($18,252,229)
  4.      Erik Seidel ($17,602,056)
  5.      Phil Hellmuth ($15,805,950)
  6.      Phil Ivey ($14,791,952)
  7.      Michael Mizrachi ($14,180,339)
  8.      John Juanda ($13,163,539)
  9.      Jamie Gold ($12,238,161)
  10.  Joe Hachem ($11,699,019)

Pros and Cons of Individual vs Team Sports

There are plenty of known benefits that come with sports, most notably a healthy physique. But the differences between individual sports over team sports and the advantages of one over the other are less apparent. Usually, people show a preference for one or the other from an early age, but if you are undecided on whether an individual or a team sport would be a better choice for you or your kid, read this article to find out.

In individual sports, the athlete is in more or less in complete control of their own destiny. Because the reliance on other team members is simply not there, the only person that can influence the result is the player. As a result, the stress could be overwhelming simply because if one enters a losing streak it may be a sign of a deteriorating physique. When your goals have been set toward winning and the only person that can achieve it is you, any lack of self-confidence will create a negative self-perception that will immediately affect training. Losing is a negative feedback loop where the athlete can get stuck in a rut and only the best manage to battle their demons.

But athletes need to face great challenges to develop their personality. Individual sports test the mettle of the greatest minds and those who are not up to the challenge at least get to see what it is like. Those that persevere take the lessons that they learn from the arduous mental pressure and apply it to other areas in life, most important of which is that each person is responsible for their own actions. Individual sports teach discipline, courage, and self-reliance.

If you like to be in control and do not like the idea of relying on others to achieve your goals, an individual sport is the right choice for you. Team sports will only make you frustrated because you won’t be able to fully control the game. Sometimes in team sports, an individual athlete does everything perfectly, and their team still loses.

A team sport, on the other hand, requires individuals to work together cohesively where each member has a specific role. Of course, there are stars in the game. Take football as an example, Leo Messi is a fantastic player whose individual record for Argentina is astounding, however, Argentina have recently shown poor performances up until the 2018 World Cup. Just recently Messi was nowhere to be seen in a heavy 3–0 loss against objectively better Croatia. Messi does shine in Barcelona where the rest of his peers are high-quality performers. So, team sports require players to work with their fellow colleagues closely for a common goal and responsibility is distributed throughout the squad. Players learn to look out for each other quickly and develop relationships so that the team’s chemistry will be of the right character. When it comes to developing personality traits, team members develop a sense of solidarity, whereas selfishness is strongly discouraged. Sometimes you just have to sacrifice your hunt for the personal moment of glory and do what’s best for your team. Team sports develop social skills, leadership and work ethics.

Team sports are great for those who like cooperative, joint activities and enjoy the social dimension of sport. If you think that working together in harmony with others to achieve a common goal is a wonderful experience, then team sports are definitely for you.   

Both individual and team sports are great in their own way. Whichever you chose, you will do something great for your body and soul.

Weirdest Sports to Bet On

One can bet on literally anything these days. You can get an online sign up offer for betting on fantasy sports, soccer, tennis or basketball. But that’s all common knowledge. For this list, we are looking at six weirdest sports you can bet on in 2018.

Chess

It might seem weird, but betting on chess is quite popular. If you love this intellectual sport, make sure to check out some of the betting markets on offer. You can bet on all the major chess events, such as Grand Chess Tour, the Dortmund Sparkassen Chess Meeting and of course, the World Chess Championship. There is a lot of betting options too: you can bet on who will win, but also which opening move will be used, who will be the first to lose a piece, how many moves will a player make, and much more!

Sumo Wrestling

Sumo wrestling is a traditional and highly respected sport in Japan. To become ‘yokozuna’, i.e. to reach the highest rank in sumo wrestling, is a great honour in Japan. For this reason, betting on sumo wrestling is not officially allowed in Japan, where punters can legally bet on four sports only: horse racing, motorboats, cycling and motorcycle races. Nevertheless, bettors from around the world can place their bets on sumo wrestling online and in Japan, and several scandals over illegal sumo betting were reported in recent years.   

Badminton

Although extremely popular in many countries, badminton is simply an unusual choice for betting. The fact that bookmakers now offer a variety of betting markets for badminton really shows that online betting is on the rise. When you think about it, it makes perfect sense. It is an Olympic sport since 1992 and requires a great level of skill when played professionally. You can bet on the outright winner, but bookmakers also offer over and under betting odds for the final score. The sport is currently dominated by the Chinese, so the players from China could be your best betting option.

Hurling

Here is a sport you might have never heard of until now (unless you are Irish) that is nevertheless an increasingly popular betting choice. Hurling is a traditional Irish sport with many followers all over the world. It is an ancient team game played since prehistoric times (really) and its main objective is to hit a small ball called a sliotar with a wooden stick called a hurley between the opponent’s goalposts. Players can also carry the sliotar in hand for four steps, kick it or slap it with an open hand. The game is incredibly fun to watch and extremely challenging, which is probably why more and more people enjoy betting on it.

Curling

Curling is probably the weirdest and the most obscure game on this list. Its rules are notoriously difficult and it is hard to master the terminology. It is recommended only for punters who really like to experiment. The game, which has been a Winter Olympics sport since 1998, is played on ice and is similar to bowls or boules. The main objective is to slide heavy rocks across ice as close as possible to a designated mark called a house. It is played by two teams of four players. Each team has 8 rocks, each player throws two and they are taking turns after two throws. A game usually consists of 10 stages, called ends, and the team that accumulates the highest score wins the game.

Biathlon

Another unusual Olympic sport, biathlon is a combination of rifle shooting and cross-country skiing. The sport is believed to have originated in Scandinavia and is especially popular in Norway, Russia, and Sweden. Currently, you can bet on who will win the World Cup, both for men’s and women’s competition.