5 Great Benefits of Participating in High School Athletics
There was a time, not so long ago, when only the so-called jocks played sports in high school. As participation rates continue to rise, however, it’s clear that that is no longer the case. According to recent figures, the number of students who play sports in school reached an all-time high of nearly 8 million in 2014. Here are five reasons they’re probably making the right decision.
1. Less Stress
Countless studies have confirmed that today’s high school students are under more pressure to succeed than any previous generation in American history. Not only are their course loads more challenging than in the past, but they must also score well on numerous tests to have a chance at higher education. We didn’t even mention the confusion and frustrations that come with being a teenager in a large social environment. Participating in athletics can help stressed-out students unwind while playing a game they enjoy. Just like exercise, sports can reduce mental tension and promote calmness and relaxation.
2. Better Shape
It is a sad but indisputable fact that weight problems that start in childhood often carry over into adulthood. Getting involved in athletics during adolescence can help instill a love of physical activity that lasts long after graduation. Even if they never play another team sport, those who engage in regular exercise during their formative years are far more likely to make it a part of their routine later in life.
3. Helps Self-Confidence
Achieving something, anything, almost always helps a person’s self-confidence. Playing sports gives students the opportunity to set and reach goals that will inevitably make them feel better about themselves and their abilities. And, no matter how confident they might seem, most teenagers have their fair share of insecurities. Getting involved in a team activity could help them gain the self-confidence they need to pursue their dreams.
4. Improved Academics
In spite of the age-old stereotype about dumb jocks, several recent studies have confirmed that high school athletes actually perform better in the classroom than their non-athlete peers. One report found that those involved in athletics had higher GPAs, missed fewer days of school and even had higher graduation rates. Why might this be? One likely explanation is that students who play sports develop better time management skills because they have less time to study. This may help them focus more intently on their work than their non-athlete peers.
5. Better Social Life
Nothing helps build the bonds of friendship like working together toward a common goal. As a result, students who participate in team sports often forge close relationships with their teammates. These friendships are generally built on a firm foundation based on common interests and shared experiences. It is no wonder many athletes keep in close contact with their former teammates long after their playing days are done. It should also be noted that the social skills players learn on the field often make it easier for them to make friends with non-athletes as well.
For all these reasons and more, participation in high school athletics is expected to continue its strong growth into the foreseeable future.
By Aaliyah Arthur – when looking for high school athletics, residents send their children to Saint John Vianney High School. To learn more, visit http://www.sjvhs.com/athletics/index.aspx.