March 13, 2018

Executive Function Skills Help Students Outside the Classroom

Many parents can identify how doing well in school or joining a sports team can positively impact their children as they get older. But what about the positive impact of developing strong executive functioning skills? Read on to see how having strong EF skills outside of school can help students succeed.

  • 1.Score for the big game

Sports players – from soccer to football to hockey – know how vital impulse control is. For instance, managing impulsive behaviors allow players to listen, without interrupting, when their coach is giving tips for the next big game. Physical impulse control can also keep individuals focused during a game, without having them wander away from their position.According to researchers Jacobsen and Mattheaus, being involved in a team sport has other executive functioning benefits: They found that athletes outperform non-athletes on executive functioning skills such as problem-solving because, oftentimes, they need to make quick, important decisions determining the positions of the players and objects around them. Talk about a win-win!

  • 2.Rule the Job/Internship Search (or college hunt)

One key executive functioning skill is list-making, which is critical as students set their sights on college applications, internships, and jobs. As any individual who has been involved with this process knows, all of these searches can quickly overwhelm. The Muse notes that the job hunting process takes (at least) eight steps – and each application likely requires sub-steps, such as updating a portfolio or preparing for interviews. Individuals who know how to think through a several-step process – from networking, to drafting and sending applications, to preparing for an interview – are more likely to experience job-hunting success. Creating a list can help individuals stay on track and ensure that they don’t miss a crucial step before submitting an application.

  • 3.Plan and schedule effectively

Everyone knows the feeling of accidentally double-booking an afternoon. Whether it’s scheduling a birthday party or a second-round interview, keeping – and remembering! – those commitments is critical. Staying organized with a calendar can help. Using a calendar – which allows individuals to see one, two or even four weeks out, can help individuals keep track of their activities without relying on their working memory. In addition, they can prioritize any tasks that need to get done before an appointment, such as buying a birthday present or finding the perfect interview outfit.

To learn more about how executive functioning skills can set individuals up for success, schedule an appointment today.