Sport and Education are not often linked hand in hand with each other but under closer scrutiny the fundamentals of both disciplines can often be very similar, ranging from the concentration required to do your best in both disciplines to Team work and helping out people in the same situation as yourself.
Let’s start with one of the key issues in both sport and education, concentration. Although the level of consequence can range between the two variables, a lack of concentration can often have consequences, whether that be drifting off in class (and let’s be honest we all do it!) or drifting off in the field when playing cricket and missing that half chance of a catch that could win your team the game.
There are a range of sports or games that can be played to help concentration, games which provide welcome relief from the classroom but also sub-consciously keep the mind active and developing. Chess for example, played a part in my development as not only a cricket but also in the classroom, supplementing my memory which that of always questioning me to think ahead, often 5 or 6 moves ahead of my opponent to gain the upper hand. This, although it may sound completely trivial, allows you to think ahead, sort that revision schedule out, prioritise which topics need revising a little more and trains the brain to remember more, which could come in vital when trying to remember the formula in that final Maths question, or the quote that’s absolutely necessary to compliment the point you’re about to make in English exam.
Cricket also played a hand in helping me in the classroom, the concentration required to put together a long innings or stay alert in the field after a long day, I found allowed me the opportunity to revise for longer periods and sustain that information I was taking in at the time, this helps break down revision into easier segments and also makes revision shorter, which is always a bonus! Not only was it the concentration which is a benefiting factor but also the fact that sport allows you to be active and as we’ve all heard before, a healthy body equals a healthy mind. But why is that the case?
An active lifestyle makes for an increased heart rate and therefore allows more oxygen to flow to the brain, thus allowing the brain to be more active and take in more information, so when it comes to revision you can take in more information without losing concentration after a short period. Not only does it allow oxygen to flow to the brain but even something like a little run before revising allows the body to release hormones which allow the brain cells to grow which in conjunction with mental stimulation allows the brain to take in more information for a longer period, perfect for exams!!
Nutrition can also play an important role when it comes to revising for exams, eating right and healthily can ensure you not only have a healthy body (and mind!) but also ensure you are best prepared for the revision that lies ahead. Eating healthily ensures you keep your blood sugar levels at the optimum level which ensure you have enough energy to revise and aids concentration for long periods of time. This also ensures that you feel less hungry and therefore less distracted when it comes to revision, the last thing you need when trying to revise is to be thinking about the local fast food special or that chocolate bar that’s sitting in the cupboard. Fast food can often change the mood of many, so as hard it may be, it could be best to minimise the amount you eat just whilst you’re revising, it could be a lovely treat for when you’ve finished!! Fast Food alters the body’s blood sugar level and makes you feel more tired and distracted, making it easier to quit when it gets to that last hard half an hour in revision, but eating healthy and pushing on will provide you with great benefits and might be that 1 or 2% difference in those all-important exams that are up and coming.
Sleep. We all love sleep don’t we? Well it turns out that a regular sleeping pattern can also help with revision. Apart from the obvious tiredness issues, getting into a regular pattern in life in general allows us to be systemised and more focused on goals and achieving what we desire. A regular sleeping pattern allows the brain to recover from those long, hard days’ revision because as much as the body needs a rest, the mind also needs to recuperate and prepare itself for what it’s about to encounter the next day. As well as a regular sleeping pattern, something as simple as putting your mobile phone down and turning the TV off 30 minutes before going to bed allows the brain to totally relax and just enjoy the time when it’s not working. Watching TV when it bed can often lead to the brain still being alive and active thinking about what you have just been watching and trying to comprehend what could happen next or why something has just occurred, therefore, if you’re not tired when you get into bed a good option could be to read, as well as helping with relaxation reading also has many great qualities, not only allowing you to understand different concepts and thrilling stories or tales, but also allowing you to improve vocabulary and grammar. The quality of vocabulary and grammar in books is often of a high quality and by reading books on a regular basis you will find that that quality rubs off on you when writing in exams yourself, and be sure of this, examiners certainly take note of interesting uses of grammar and sophisticated vocabulary, that could be the difference in grade boundaries, In English exams certainly, not so much the maths!
In summary, sport, sleep and nutrition allows you to be the best you can be coming up to an important time in your lives. Sport increases your competitive instincts which you will find spreads into your normal everyday lives, this is absolutely vital when it comes to revision and exams, it will encourage you to go that extra yard to ensure you get that grade you’re aspiring for.
I hope you enjoyed reading my first blog and found some of the stuff interesting and informative. If not, then I apologise and will endeavour to do better in future, sorry!
If you have any suggestions with topics you’d like me to blog about or have any comments that you would like to share (good or bad, I can take it!) please feel free to email me at aiden @ direct-tuition.co.uk