Athletics

5 Benefits of Athletics in High School & College

Athletics
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Athletics is a fundamental part of Human Life. Without it, our body can run into numerous issues which can make our day-to-day difficult to endure. With respect to students, Athletics is something that should be incorporated into their Academic life. It improves their body functioning as well as mental health. This, in turn, results in an up-tick in Concentration. By indulging in different activities like Football, Basketball, Marathon Runs, students essentially lay the foundations of a healthy lifestyle. Studies have shown Athletics to result in better academic results and futures for students. Here are 5 Benefits Athletics provide to Students that leads to better academic results and a higher quality of life.

5. Improves Soft Skills like Leadership, Teamwork and Collaboration

Athletes Stacking their Hands - Andrea Piacquadio

Athletics or Sports, for that matter, is a great way to build “Soft Skills” in Teenagers. By playing together in teams, working on different strategies or Tactics, students are pitted in the frontlines and are challenged to solve different problems. For example, there is this concept of a “Low Block” in Soccer where one team sets up in a Defensive block so that the opposition team struggles to find a way in and score a goal. Students, when put in this context, are forced to come up with multiple ways to overcome this low block. This results in them forcing their brains to come up with creative solutions whether that is through Teamwork e.g. different passing combos to evade defenders Or through some Advanced, individual ways e.g. a Skill Move or a sudden burst of pace to overwhelm the opposition.

These are just some of the ways Students are forced to act, but in the overall scheme of things, these obstacles pit them in unique scenarios where they need to use Quick Thinking and come up with effective solutions within a limited time frame. 

They also need to be in “Constant Communication” with their Teammates and that helps build Teamwork qualities in them.

Athletics helps build the Confidence and Communications skill of an individual, which in turn, improves their Leadership qualities.

Research compiled in the Journal of Human Kinetics” (2017) showed that Athletic participation in an individual resulted in that individual significantly more in “Transformational Leadership” with a strong aptitude in “Management of Self” which relates to “the attitude towards oneself and the consideration of well-being for others” AND the “Management of Feeling” which relates to how these individuals “Motivate their peers to show feelings of competence and realization of meaning from their work

4. Boosts their Immune System

A Healthy Women depicting Strong Immune System

“Lack of activity destroys the good condition of every human being, while movement and methodical physical exercise save it and preserve it.” 

                                                                                                          – Plato

Athletics or Sports is a fundamental part of a healthy lifestyle. It improves metabolism, strengthens muscles and bones, conditions the body, improves bodily functions and really sets the “Tone” for how you want to live your life.

Students really need a strong Immune System”  if they want to have a good time in School. Immunity is linked with all parts of the body whether that is the transportation of Oxygen or other Nutrients via the BloodStream, Digestion, Resistance against Infections and Diseases or overall Mental Health.

Students require “Focus” and “Concentration” to study at their best, understand concepts and prove their qualities in tests. A strong immune system ensures that the brain functions at its best and provides the necessary Cognitive Qualities that Students need to do well in their studies and to live a Healthy Life free from all kinds of Stress and Disease

In a study done by the “American Academy of Neurology” where over 400 Subjects were tested with different Physical and Cognitive tests, the researchers found out that the Subjects who had more Movement in their life, as in more physical activity, performed significantly better than those with less activity. Certain tests even indicated that people with regular exercise had a 31% less chance of Dementia than their counterparts. 

This study is just one of many different studies which attribute a strong Immune System to a Healthy Life. Therefore, we need to ensure that students in Schools and Colleges are subjected to the right amount of exercise in their daily life that ensures that they get the time to relax, de-stress and socialize while also working their Minds with different challenges which make the Mind and Body Stronger and Healthier. This results in students performing better in their Academic Life, which leads to a more successful life for them.

3. Teaches Students the Value of Time

Image of Hourglass Depicting Time

Athletics are a great way for students to learn how to manage their “Time”. When students are given certain challenges in the sort of sports activities, they actively need to juggle the time between that challenge and their studies. This prompts their brain into a “Creative Whirlpool” where they are required to set up schedules, to-do lists which is really a crucial step towards Time Management. 

Because there’s just so much Competition in high school teams where you need to prove your place in the starting XI, the natural Leader in students comes out and they are taken to their Extreme in proving why they deserve that spot in the lineup. The “Fear of Missing Out” from the Starting Lineup forces students to effectively manage their time between Academics and Sports. 

According to a Thesis put forward by Jeffrey Owen of “California State University”, in which they tested Time Management skills in Athletes who used certain techniques like To-do Lists or Schedules, the results showed that 70% of these athletes who had incorporated these Time-Management Techniques in their daily lives demonstrated an increase in GPA showing just how effective Time-Management is for their studies as well as Sports life.

2.  Improves Social Skills and Self-Confidence in Students

Illustration of How People Socialize - Bett Norris Illustration

Because Athletics are mostly a team game where athletes have to work together to achieve a common goal, social skills are naturally nurtured over time. Students have to constantly communicate and not just communicate, but be Effective at it so their peers can understand their thoughts. This means that their Social Skills are generally better than the Students who don’t participate as actively as they do. 

When these Athletes achieve an Individual goal, like taking 1st place in a Marathon Race or scoring an Extra-Time Goal, they get recognition from their peers, which boosts their Self-Confidence. This urge of getting that recognition and respect from their teachers and peers is what stimulates Students to do better and better in Athletics. 

These Social Skills and Self-Confidence are necessary for building Long-lasting Relationships in both Personal and Private lives. According to research by Ebbeck and Weiss (1998)“, this recognition of competence in their Physical Activities nurtures positive emotions like feeling proud of oneself, enjoyment and satisfaction.

These positive emotions directly correlate to success in their Academics. So, students who actively participate and are successful in Athletics tend to have a positive mindset which means that they do well in their studies, make better friends, commit to long-lasting relationships and are great professionals.

1. Develops a Strong, Motivated Mindset

Blackboard saying "Success, Go Get It" - Gerd Altmann

Because students tend to gain Joy and Satisfaction when they achieve success in their Physical Activities, they develop a positive mindset that stays for the long run. These Students tend to be more Driven than their counterparts towards achieving their Goals in Life and are more likely to find success than those who are not as physically involved as them. 

Building relationships and committing to them is a strong point in this. We all know how important it is to network, build relationships and leverage them to find opportunities in the Professional world. That’s exactly what makes Athletics such an important part to focus on.

Many times, Athletes who are more driven than others will build relationships with Sponsors and Pro Managers in some of the biggest teams in the world. They get scouted that way, and in a year, they’re performing at the top-level with Success kissing their feet. 

As Gary Vaynerchuk (CEO of VaynerX and Wine Library) says and I quote:
    “Saying Hello doesn’t have an ROI, it’s about Building Relationships” 

By virtue of these challenges these Student-Athletes actively face, they learn to Fail and to Succeed. That’s exactly what Life is all about. Trials and Tribulations, Errors and Failure. These are what lead to success. By being involved in Athletics throughout High School, students learn the values they need to succeed in real life. They aren’t afraid to take risks, to fail, to endure hardships, and to suffer rejection. They learn how to have a Strong Mental Fortitude that overcomes all of these.

 

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