Life skills - Health (Mental)

By providing youth the opportunity to skateboard, youth are exposed to learning life skills such as work ethic, trial and error, strategy, self-confidence, discipline, and courage. These life skills are important to apply in the real world at school and in a career to achieve success. In the case of skateboarding, the risk for injury aids in the learning process for life skills. Skateboarding symbolizes using time productively as enjoyment and learning life skills are present. It is unique that skateboarding includes having fun yet also improving life skills for personal development. It is the healthy risks that skateboarding provides which translate to life skills.

Humans do not magically learn these life skills overnight. Furthermore, not everyone retains the information of learning life skills by verbal teaching. Many people require the experience of learning by physically doing and using bare hands. Skateboarding represents a learning tool of physical doing something to retain life skills.

 
 

It is more effective to introduce youth to life skills through skateboarding now, than to have that youth learn life skills while they are also supposed to immediately achieve high grades in school. Life skills must be learned and developed at a young age to act as an advantage in school. Life skills are a contributing factor to success, therefore, let someone learn life skills through skateboarding while they are in their youth so that future success is within their grasp.

Imagine someone who was never legitimately learned life skills in their youth due to being sheltered from activities such as skateboarding, now they are an adult and have a difficult time keeping a job because they don’t understand, and were never taught, life skills. Suddenly a beacon of light shines as skateboarding acts a form of creativity, exercise, and now also acts as a form of learning life skills for school and work success.

This drive to succeed from a skateboarder is capable of being translated into a bold behavior with persistent work ethic in the workplace and classroom. The intricacies of skateboarding demand significant practice and attention to follow. Skateboarding is not a natural innate activity and behind all talented skateboarders is work ethic.

Ryan Cockrell states to The Post and Courier,

“You get a lot of rewards from the amount that you work. That's a natural, addictive feeling - that feeling of accomplishment. From a basic trick up to the most technical tricks, you have that exact same feeling of accomplishment. You earned it. That ability to practice and understand the pay off of continuing to work at something transfers into your daily life and builds life skills." See more: http://www.postandcourier.com/article/20090723/ARCHIVES/307239865.

The though process behind tricks in skateboarding are a mental workout that gives rise to an individual’s problem solving and persistence against failure. Traits such as adaptation (working with that you have been given) and attention to detail are beneficial qualities and originate from performing tricks while skateboarding. Since the thought process behind tricks requires attention to detail, strategy is used commonly in skateboarding which teaches decision making and dedication towards a vision.

The artistic and technical sides of skateboarding incorporate both the left and right sides of the brain regarding imagination and mathematics. The feeling of freedom when treating a skateboard like a paintbrush and using the street as a canvas brings creativity out of an individual. To continually invent new tricks and imagine new locations to skateboard is the art of practicing creativity.

Remaining humble and establishing gratitude are lessons taught by skateboarding. The fact that skateboarding is performed on hard surfaces, such as concrete or wood (ramps), emphases the pain that can be felt when falling. It someone thinks they are invincible on a skateboard, falling will soon teach them to be more genuine. Falling and getting hurt is the reality check. It is in this way that skateboarding develops patience to embrace earned skill.

Watching other skateboarders, such as professional skateboarders, creates a sense of belonging which satisfies a human’s underlying needs.  These aforementioned professional skateboarders that skateboarding provides are positive role models to learn from. Professional skateboarders include a spectrum of individuals who happen to give back to the community, start charities, bond with their families, stand up against poor nutrition, treat others with respect, and create successful entrepreneurial businesses. It is vital for an activity such as skateboarding to provide positive role models because human behaviour is modeled after others. Examples of quotes that highlight the importance of role models are: “you are who you surround yourself with” and “monkey see, monkey do.” From conception, humans learn from each other on how to complete tasks and handle situations. Role models have the incredible capacity to teach us right from wrong and to distinguish fair from unfair. When individuals follow the positive role models in professional skateboarding, a sense of self concept is developed.

Self concept, which encompasses self esteem, are traits that cannot be purchased or taught overnight. It takes the gradual growth alongside a role model to produce self concept and esteem. Developing self concept and thus a strong personality is what pays dividends for an individual later in life in their career and personal living. The desire to skateboard and model oneself to professional skateboarders is a thrill that gives a reason to get out of bed in the morning.

A domino effect eventually occurs where the self concept felt within the skateboarding community translates into beneficial relationships with others, exercises work ethic, and expresses artistic creativity. This skateboarding community gives an individual an identity much bigger than themselves. These individuals feel that they are representing their community and with that, spark pride. The community teaches skateboarders values and serves as an outlet for emotional well-being.

 

Image courtesy of: http://khelplanet.org/