THE BENEFITS OF HIGH SCHOOL AND YOUTH SPORTS
Everybody knows that regular physical activity helps contribute to healthier, longer lives. But, did you know that involvement in high school sports delivers a wide array of non-physical benefits as well?
For starters, high school students who participate in sports are far less likely to drop out of school.71 In fact, participation in high school sports actually has been shown to deliver consistently higher grades.79
HIGHER LIKELIHOOD OF COLLEGE
In addition to improved concentration and classroom behavior31, those who participate in high school sports are 15 PERCENT more likely to attend college.32
A 2007 study revealed that women who played sports in high school were 73 PERCENT more likely to earn a college degree within six years of graduating high school.68 This was even true for women from disadvantaged backgrounds.
BETTER LIFE SKILLS
People who played competitive sports in high school demonstrate more confidence, leadership, and self-respect.74 They are better at setting goals and managing their time.85 They have a better appreciation for diversity and a more developed sense of morality.85 High school sports participation can also make a difference in earning power. People who played competitive sports in their youth tend to earn significantly higher incomes than those who did not.73 82 PERCENT of female executives played organized sports after elementary school and 60 PERCENT of these women execs agreed with the statement that sports participation gave them “a competitive edge in the business world.”70
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Student athletes manifest stronger peer relationships, better attachment with adults, higher self-esteem, a closer sense of family, and participate more in volunteerism.76 They are less likely to engage in high risk behavior. They have a greater sense of initiative, persistence and personal responsibility.88 A survey of over 14,000 TEENS found that those who participated in team sports were less likely to use drugs, smoke cigarettes and carry weapons.69
BETTER HEALTH OUTCOMES
Participation in youth sports and other physical activities is a lead indicator in improved health and fitness. It’s little wonder why the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) recommends that children ages 6 TO 17 participate in one hour of physical activity daily. Sadly, by the time they reach 6th grade, only 28.1 PERCENT of girls and 41.4 PERCENT of boys achieve this level of activity.86
By contrast, those who participate in high school sports and remain physically active are 1/10 LESS LIKELY to experience obesity, have a lower incidence of heart disease, stroke or even cancer and, consequently, face lower health care costs in their lifetimes.83