School-based sports programs have been known to bring out positive behaviors in its student-athletes. Through playing for their school’s team, these young athletes benefit by learning skills, habits, and attitudes that lead to their future success and preparation for life after school.
Many students and even parents may not even realize the impact that playing school-based sports has on the student-athlete. It goes beyond playing the game they love. Here are some of the benefits of engaging in school-based sports:
- Social Benefits
Students who participate in sports learn how to forge close relationships with their teammates. These relationships are vital for overall well-being throughout their years in school. Students who bond because of common interests often maintain this connection long after school is over resulting in friendships that last a lifetime.
Through sports, students also represent their communities through their schools. This strong sense of community brings student-athletes a sense of pride for representing their town’s home team and school
- Time Management Skills
Student-athletes learn about the importance of time-management very early in life, and it is a skill they will use long after they graduate, particularly when they are working in the real world. As a student-athlete, they learn how to juggle practices, games, tests, and homework.
- Academic Benefits
It has been observed that athletics have many benefits on the student’s academic performance. Sports teach them how to focus. Because sports promotes self-esteem, they value their academic standing. And the potential of someday winning a scholarship is also an excellent motivator to do well both in sports and school.
- Leadership Skills
Whether the student-athlete is the team captain or they play a smaller role, they develop their leadership skills by taking ownership of the part they play in the game and the team.
Later, as senior athletes, they become the role models for the younger members of the team and discover what it means to lead and be a positive influence for a younger set of athletes. They discover what it is like to mentors.
- Health Benefits
There’s no denying the fitness levels of kids participating in sports. Because they value their health and know they need to be in peak condition to perform on the court or field, they are less likely to engage in activities that are unhealthy or risky behavior.
Student-athletes are comparatively healthier than other kids. The physical activity keeps their weight under control and are more likely to make the right food choices, knowing that what they eat has an effect on their athletic performance.
- The 3P’s
Student-athletes learn the 3P’s through athletics – persistence, patience and practice. They discover the value of practice to improve their skills. They realize how working hard results in performing better. They recognize how persistence and not giving up are crucial to achieving success. They develop patience by learning that success doesn’t happen overnight and that often, despite frustration and feeling overwhelmed, patience is needed to see hard times through.
Ultimately, school-based sports have existed for generations for a reason. Over the years, it’s shown how kids who participated in sports at some point when they were in school were better prepared to meet the challenges of adult life. They discovered how to solve problems creatively and had a stronger sense of community. Through teamwork and the rules of the game, they learned responsibility and respect for authority.