Contributed by Meghan Sullivan
Scoring the winning goal. Passing the tie-breaking touchdown. Finishing first place in a split-second race. Just as the start of a new school year brings opportunities for learning and academic growth, it brings possibilities for athletic greatness through the start of a new season of school sports.
As we all know, sports are an extremely popular extracurricular activity for students and there’s no sign that that is changing. The National Federation of State High School Associations recently reported that student participation in athletics has increased for the 29th consecutive year.
This news should be celebrated. Participation in sports brings a richness to student life that little else can replicate. Firstly, there are many great health-related benefits that come with playing school sports. As illustrated by data from the CDC, physical activity improves children’s and adolescents’ cardiorespiratory fitness and muscle strength, and reduces their risk of developing heart disease, diabetes, and obesity.
Additionally, sports are critical to students’ social and emotional health. They provide students with an opportunity to learn valuable life lessons that carry with them long after they leave the field:
1. Time Management
Big games and critical practices often coincide with important exams and academic deadlines. While it may be overwhelming in the short-term, these experiences help students learn how to effectively manage their time and prioritize. Time management skills like these will benefit your student down the line, especially in the workplace.
Team sports require students to work as a group towards to a collective goal. As such, participation in school sports teaches students important social skills when it comes to developing respect for teammates and effectively communicating with their peers.
When it comes to sports, it takes hours of practice and determination to perform well and win. There will also be times when you don’t win, despite all that hard work. Overcoming the pain of loss is just as much a part of sports as the glory of victory, and learning how to handle adversity in a productive way is perhaps one of the most important skills sports can teach. Students learn that persevering through tough times to ultimately achieve greatness is what makes comeback stories so spectacular. Athletic brands recognize this as well, so much so that Reebok is currently partnering with high school sports marketing company VNN to find the most inspiring comeback stories from high school sports.
Through these skill-building activities, students create memories and habits that last a lifetime. We hope that this season brings many exciting sports moments, lessons, and victories for your student-athletes.