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The importance of sports in developing high school students

Friendship ties were more likely to exist among activity coparticipants while controlling for other friendship processes. A study looking at social adjustment in making the transition from middle school 8th grade to high school 9th grade found involvement in sports helped students with friendships during the transition.

School arts participation and engagement are associated with enhanced academic motivation and engagement measures as well as [non-academic] measures of well-being, including a sense of meaning and purpose according to a longitudinal study of students in 15 Australian schools. It also showed that in-school arts participation and engagement measures were more strongly correlated with academic motivation and engagement outcomes and some measures of well-being than non-school related participation measures.

Schools can maximize the impact of these activities by encouraging disconnected, low achieving students to join a couple of activities. At a time when school budgets face reductions, this type of research argues for the importance of maintaining a breadth of extracurricular opportunities for students attending urban high schools.

Contributors to Organized Activities as Contexts of Development: Extracurricular Activities, After-School and Community Programs, noted that making diverse clubs and activities available to a wide range of students is important. Activity participation is also linked to affiliation with peers who are academically focused.

Adolescents can benefit from this synergistic system when they have opportunities to participate in diverse activities. A study of life skills developed through football by award-winning high school coaches found that these coaches saw that the process of participation and striving to win taught life skills such as discipline, work ethic, and emotional control.

A study of model high school coaches and their athletes found that these coaches taught life skills, their student athletes learned the skills and were able transfer them to other areas of their lives. A survey study of Life Skill Development in Ontario High School Sport concluded that parents, coaches, and student-athletes all perceive high school sport as positive and is a context where life skills are developed, that student-athletes score higher on most developmental assets than students who are not in high school sports, and that student-athletes appear to be more engaged and enjoy school more as a result of participating in high school sport.

These health behaviors included dietary habits, weight loss, sexual activity, Interpersonal violence and suicidality, and substance abuse.

Importance of Sports in School

Of the 25 health behaviors, White female athletes had the most, 19, associations with positive healthful behaviors. There were some associations for male athletes with negative health behaviors. Minority male athletes showed more associations with healthy behaviors than did minority female athletes. Earlier findings from YRBS data also showed multiple positive health benefits associated with sports participation.

Education Matters

There were some variations between the specific health behaviors associated with sports participation in these two examinations of YRBS data and both studies showed variations by race and ethnicity. However, both studies showed many positive associations with health behaviors for athletes, only a few negative associations, and the significant role sports participation play in the health of young people.

  • Schools can maximize the impact of these activities by encouraging disconnected, low achieving students to join a couple of activities;
  • Perseverance Just like patience and practice, sports also need perseverance and dedication;
  • Helps prevent cancer Research shows that regular fitness activities lowers the incidence of cancer especially cancers of the colon, prostate, uterine and breast;
  • This corresponds with other studies showing that school sports are areas where many students can get more physical activity;
  • Further corroboration of the health benefits of sports and other school activities comes from 50,168 Minnesota ninth grade public school students voluntarily completing a statewide survey;
  • A study of model high school coaches and their athletes found that these coaches taught life skills, their student athletes learned the skills and were able transfer them to other areas of their lives.

Further corroboration of the health benefits of sports and other school activities comes from 50,168 Minnesota ninth grade public school students voluntarily completing a statewide survey. The data revealed that students involved in sports had significantly higher rates of exercise, milk consumption, and a healthy self-image and had significantly lower odds for emotional distress, suicidal behavior, family substance abuse and physical and sexual victimization than students not involved in sports.

Students participating in other activities were significantly more involved in doing homework and significantly less involved with alcohol and marijuana use as well as vandalism. Examination of cross-sectional data from a nationally representative sample of high school students enrolled in public high schools in the United States showed that students participating in organized sports were 25 percent less likely to be current cigarette smokers.

This was true for both male and female athletes while controlling for levels of physical activity. Social support and integration may account for some of the differences found in suicidality between athletes and nonathletes.

How playing sports can benefit your child?

Similar health results have been reported in other parts of the world as well. A study of school-based extracurricular activities SBEAs of Chinese students found that those who were engaged in school-based extracurricular activities had a healthier self-concept, were healthier psychologically, showed more emotionally stability, better social adaption and had better career development skills than other students.

Schools should create an environment that encourages positive SBEA experiences. This corresponds with other studies showing that school sports are areas where many students can get more physical activity.