How Playing Sports Will Benefit Students
Playing school sports is not just about fun, although that is a huge benefit. Listed below are many reasons playing a team sport can help students. Currently TIA sports includes volleyball, basketball, football and bowling.
- Improved Academics
Studies have shown that on average, student athletes have higher GPAs than students not participating in any extracurricular activities. It’s also been shown that students participating in sports miss fewer days of school and score higher in core subjects on standardized tests.
- Health & Fitness
The most obvious benefit of school sports programs are the health benefits for the athletes. A 2006 study found that students who participated in high school athletics experienced improvement in their weight and overall muscle mass. Not only did the students get the opportunity to participate in strength, stamina and aerobic activities, playing school sports cut into the time students might otherwise spend in sedentary activities like watching television or playing video games.
Studies also suggest that student athletes are less likely to participate in unhealthy or risky behavior. A 2002 study by the Department of Education found students who did not participate in any high school athletics were 49% more likely to use drugs and 37% were more apt to become teen parents. Just four hours in an extracurricular activity like sports each week dramatically improved those numbers.
- Cooperation & Teamwork
Student athletes quickly learn that unless a team operates as a unit it will not be successful. Because everyone is working toward a common goal in team sports, students learn firsthand how their individual performance impacts the rest of the team. Student athletes must find their place, whether it is to be a leader of the team or to play a supporting role.
- The Importance of the 3 “P’s”
An article at Education.com presented the 3 “P’s”. Student athletes learn the valuable lessons of persistence, patience and practice. Any athlete will tell you how important the 3 P’s are to their performance. They have learned the harder they work, the better they perform. They also discover that by never giving up, they are more likely to achieve their goals. These life lessons benefit students long after the high school years, helping them succeed in college and after.
- Social Relationships
Students who participate in sports often forge close friendships with others on the team and learn how to get along with a variety of different types of people.. These relationships are essential for mental, emotional and physical health throughout the high school years. Students bond together over a common passion, and the time they spend together builds friendships that often last long after high school is over.
- Positive Role Models
High school athletics are filled with positive role models and mentors, from the coaches on the sidelines to the leaders on the team. Students learn to work with a wide range of authority figures, who teach them important lessons about hard work, respect and good sportsmanship. Having the ability to “be coachable” is a quality that helps students long after graduation.
- Promotes School Pride and Cohesiveness
School sports have the added effect of promoting school pride and ownership. This holds true for not only those participating in the sport, but also those in the stands. Sporting events promote a common goal for the school as a whole. Sports can be extremely effective in bringing a school together, not just physically but emotionally as well.
- Leadership Skills
Learning leadership skills is an integral part of school athletics. Even students who do not feel they are natural-born leaders take on leadership roles as they advance in grade levels. Senior athletes are expected to encourage younger team members and hold them accountable. They set an example and often provide advice and guidance both on and off the field.
- Learn Time Management
Games and practice can take up student’s time, leaving less for other activities. Athletes must learn time management skills. The no pass/no play rule promotes the necessity for good time management skills.
- Creates a Successful Mindset
In additions, these are some of the other valuable lessons students can learn playing sports
- Concentration development and a strong focus
- Creativity in finding ways to improve themselves
- Learning how to handle pressure
- Learning when to take risks
- Taking responsibility for their individual performance
- Possibility of college scholarships
These skills go far beyond the sports field and beyond high school. Student athletes reap the benefits of their training for the rest of their lives.
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