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How to Structure Sports and Storage into a Singular Whole


What do marshmallows, children’s sports and storage systems have in common? It probably doesn’t seem like much. But they all share a common link when things are working as they should. To understand how it all comes together we should first look at the marshmallows.

This refers to a famous experiment from Stanford researchers. Rather appropriately, it’s known as the Stanford marshmallow experiment. The experiment was intended to test something known as delayed gratification. Basically, it tested whether a child could hold off on eating a marshmallow if it meant he’d get more in 15 minutes. This isn’t just about marshmallows though. The test shows how developed a child’s ability to use willpower in order to get a reward further down the line is.

The study continued to monitor the children to see how their ability to do so developed over time. And one thing became clear as the children grew up. If someone didn’t learn delayed gratification as a child than their ability to use it later on could be permanently impaired.

What does this have to do with sports? Basically, sports are an ideal teaching aid for delayed gratification. Most parents know this on an unconscious level. What we often think of as good sportsmanship is just another way of looking at delayed gratification. A child knows that he’ll eventually win if he keeps training and putting in the hard work. And he knows that he’d want to have the team he beats accept it gracefully. So, he puts his frustrations away when he loses.

The child behaves in a way that he’d hope that a team he beat would behave. And he keeps training with his team in hopes of becoming part of a winning team in the future. The final piece of this puzzle is something that every parent will agree with. And that’s using sports to teach kids a final lesson in delayed gratification.

What parent wouldn’t love to help drive home how important cleaning up after oneself is? Organized sports can provide a perfect teaching aid for that fact of life. A child tends to have trouble recognizing the importance of a tidy life since it’s essentially consequence free. When adults let a mess pile up, we’re directly hurt by it. But in most parts of life a child is free from serious impediments. If a child loses his textbook or the like in a mess than of course we have to help him find it. But that’s not always the case in a sports team.

A child will have to learn to share his space with other kids. And even if it’s as simple as putting everything back into any type of aluminum trailer storage box at the end of a game it’s still going to matter in the long run. The child will quickly learn how annoying a mess is if one of the other kids loses equipment. Or if one of the other kids delays a game due to misplacing something.

All of this goes to show just how important sports are to a child’s development. Sports, marshmallows and storage might not have seemed interlinked at first. But the common thread between them is a child’s lesson in responsibility.

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