Playing sports is not only a fun way to stay active, but can also be helpful for academic growth! Here are some of the many benefits of sports for students.
Health benefits. This is probably the most obvious one, but for a good reason! Any physical activity that encourages exercise is worth participating in. As the old saying goes, “body and mind” are connected! Students that get proper exercise are more likely to feel energized throughout the day, hold a positive attitude, and maintain a proper sleeping schedule – which in turn helps with staying focused during the school day.
Social skills. Sports require communication between players. Even one-on-one sports (like tennis, for instance) still require communication between two opponents during a match while encouraging a healthy sense of competition. Getting involved in sports is a great way for students to improve their social skills while also meeting other individuals that share the same interests. These social skills will translate to the classroom, encouraging your child to be more engaging and confident at school.
Teamwork. Team sports require players to plan and coordinate together while they work towards a shared task (like scoring a goal). These same skills – assigning duties, strategizing approaches – are extremely helpful in managing group projects at school. Group projects and presentations are a part of the academic sphere even through the college level, so learning how to work well with others is hugely beneficial for a student’s academic experience (and beyond).
Self-esteem. Playing sports is fun. And it’s not just about winning or losing – simply participating in sports encourages a mindset towards practice, growth, and improvement. These are the same principles we encourage students to hold academically. Getting better at something feels good, and sports are an excellent way to experience tangible improvement. Whether it’s shooting hoops just for fun or joining a team league, sports can be an extremely positive influence on a student’s self esteem. This same confidence boost will translate into all areas of their lives, including academic performance.
Resilience. Remember the old saying, “Learn to be a good sport?” Quite literally, in fact, sports teaches us that we don’t always get the outcome we want. Olympic athletes train for years only to fall short of the gold medal – but rather than discourage their efforts, it motivates them to pick themselves up again and train harder. Team sports are the same – emotions can run high, and losing a big game can be disappointing. However, these experiences teach students to have good sportsmanship. Resilience is just as important in academics – when students are disappointed with a score or exam result, having good resilience helps them to “bounce back” and try again with a new approach. Sports are a great way of instilling these values at a young age.