Benefits of Sports – MU Health Care
Organized, well-structured youth sports and on-going physical activities can provide many benefits for children and adolescents. Positive experiences that sports and an active lifestyle bring play an important role in a young person’s life.
At University of Missouri Health Care, our adolescent medicine team encourages all children to participate in sports or other regular physical activity. Physical exercise is good for the mind, body and spirit. Team sports help teach adolescents accountability, dedication, leadership and other skills.
Many athletes do better academically
Playing a sport requires a lot of time and energy. Some people may think this would distract student-athletes from schoolwork. However, the opposite is true. Sports require memorization, repetition and learning — skillsets that are directly relevant to class work. Also, the determination and goal-setting skills a sport requires can be transferred to the classroom.
Sports teach teamwork and problem-solving skills
Fighting for a common goal with a group of players and coaches teaches you how to build teamwork and effectively communicate to solve problems. This experience is helpful when encountering problems at work or at home.
Physical health benefits of sports
Clearly, sports can help you reach your fitness goals and maintain a healthy weight. However, they also encourage healthy decision-making such as not smoking and not drinking. Sports also have hidden health benefits such as lowering the chance of osteoporosis or breast cancer later in life.
Sports boost self-esteem
Watching your hard work pay off and achieving your goals develops self-confidence. Achieving a sport or fitness goal encourages you to achieve other goals you set. This is a rewarding and exciting learning process.
Reduce pressure and stress with sports
Exercising is a natural way to loosen up and let go of stress. You can also make new friends who can be there for you as a support system. When you feel under pressure or stressed, call up a teammate, head to the gym to talk and play it out.
15 Health Benefits of Sports
It’s no secret that physical activity is good for you, but do you know about all the ways that exercise can improve your health? Check it out:
- Improved cardiovascular health. The heart is a muscle, it needs to be worked out! Regular exercise can help improve the overall health of your entire cardiovascular system.
- Lowers risk of heart disease, stroke, and diabetes. A healthier heart means reduced risk of cardiovascular disease, stroke, and diabetes.
- Helps manage weight. Not only does physical activity burn calories, it also improves your metabolism in the long run.
- Reduced blood pressure. Physical activity keeps your heart and blood vessels healthy, helping to prevent hypertension.
- Enhanced aerobic fitness. Participating in aerobic activities — such as running, cycling, or swimming — can improve your body’s ability to transport and utilize oxygen in the lungs and blood.
- Improved muscular strength and endurance. Resistance exercises challenge your muscular system, resulting in bigger, stronger muscles.
- Improved joint flexibility and range of motion. Improved flexibility reduces risk of injury.
- Stress relief. Exercise is a great mood-booster and has proven to be an effective method of stress relief.
- Lowers risk of certain types of cancer. People who exercise regularly are less likely to develop breast, colon, and lung cancer.
- Control cholesterol. Exercise decreases LDL (bad cholesterol) levels and increases HDL (good cholesterol) levels.
- Ward off osteoporosis. Building dense, strong bones is another benefit of physical activity.
- Strengthens immune system. Exercising more = getting sick less.
- Improved sleep. We know just how important sleep is, and exercising can help you capitalize on these benefits.
- Mental health benefits. Exercise is good for your mental health too, as it can battle feelings of anxiety and depression, sharpen your focus, and improve self esteem.
- Prolonged life. When you add all of these benefits together, what do you get? A longer, healthier, more enjoyable life!
Looking for more ways that physical activity can improve your overall health? Check out this article from BuiltLean.com.
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The Social and Academic Benefits of Team Sports
This might have to do with the increased cognitive ability that comes from playing sports. Physical activity naturally increases blood flow to the brain and activates endorphins, chemicals that are released when you exercise. Endorphins can impact your mood and work performance, meaning athletes may be more willing and capable of tackling that next big problem.
Team sports can also help with emotional development. Research published by the Canadian Fitness and Lifestyle Research Institute states that exercise can lead to a unique state of short-term relaxation. That relaxation can promote increased concentration, better memory, enhanced creativity, more effective problem solving, and an improved mood — all benefits that will extend into the classroom.
Team athletes are constantly working with a slate of other people, many of whom can become positive role models along the way. Team sports foster mentorship between older players and younger players, coaches and athletes, and more. Coaches in particular can play an important role in a young athlete’s life. Players who have positive sports mentors when they’re young are also more likely to seek effective role models throughout their life.
Soft skills are personal attributes that allow people to build positive social relationships. Team sports are an excellent source of soft skills development, as they allow athletes to grow within a supportive environment. Here are just a few of the soft skills fostered through team sports:
While it might not be as obvious as sitting down and discussing a group project, team sports take a lot of communication — both spoken and unspoken. Communication skills are key in maintaining a functioning sports team, whether it’s listening to locker room pep talk, picking up on nonverbal cues given by other players, or expressing a thought during a post-game debrief.
As Jill Prudden said in her book “Coaching Girl’s Basketball Successfully,” players are expected to express their concerns, hopes, and disappointments to their coaches and their teammates. She also encourages her players to seek feedback from coaches as well as their classroom teachers, as a result fostering communications skills that will help them succeed in their academic endeavors.
Sports plays happen fast, and athletes develop the skills needed to make effective snap decisions. Whether it’s a basketball player deciding to shoot or a soccer player realizing his best move is to pass to a teammate for the assist, athletes learn critical decision-making skills that will benefit them both during and after game time.
Any athlete who has played in a championship game knows the meaning of pressure. Sports create an environment where athletes learn to conquer their natural “fight or flight” instinct to make consistent and difficult decisions under high pressure situations. This ability to function under pressure translates to person who is better at making deadlines and working in stressful situations in the future.
This is an obvious one. Teamwork is all about collaborating with others to reach a common goal. The diverse pairing of personalities and scenarios will help your athlete become adaptable, persistent, and patient. Team sports also teach a sense of group and individual responsibility.
Being on a team with a dozen or more of your peers is an excellent way to recognize the individual talents each person brings to the table. As the Janssen Sports Leadership Center says, working with teammates teaches athletes important life skills such as to respect one another, act in unselfish ways, make good decisions on behalf of the team, and not cut corners.
The time commitment required by athletes can be comparable to that of a full-time job. Think of all the different commitments an athlete needs to juggle: competitions, strength and conditioning, team meetings, sports physiotherapy — and these are just the sports-related obligations!
Necessity demands that athletes learn valuable time management skills, otherwise they would never be able to keep up with academics and sport. Effective time management planning is part of why a recent article published by Fast Company argues employers should consider hiring a former student athlete.
Team athletes know that every second counts, and this value of time will translate to their everyday life. As Shannon Miller, a member of the 1992 and 1996 United States Olympic women’s gymnastics team told Forbes, she kept a schedule that was almost minute by minute when she was an athlete. This careful planning and precision helps athletes focus on reaching their goals sooner than non-athletes.
Build Self-Esteem and a Sense of Community
Team sports are said to bolster the five C’s: competence, confidence, connections, character, and caring. At the heart of this is self-esteem – an increased sense of self as a result of better social interactions, stronger relationships, and higher academic performance.
Team sports provide athletes with a natural community. A report from True Sport says that youth who play sports have higher levels of social support, and that the sense of community created with teammates, coaches, and family members incubates the perfect setting for critical self-esteem development.
In the end, the opportunity to participate in team sports provides athletes with valuable skills that will take them beyond the field, pitch, and court.
5 Benefits of Sports for Kids
There are several benefits of playing sports for kids, such as having a healthier life, gaining more academic integrity, improving medical fitness, etc.
Allowing children to participate in outdoor extracurricular activities, such as sports, helps them explore and develop skills which are considered beneficial throughout their lives. By participating in sports, children are exposed to various mental, social, emotional, physical and educational benefits. Some of these benefits are:
Several studies have suggested that taking part in a sport can help in the development of your child’s self-esteem and confidence. Gestures such as a high-five from a teammate, a pat on the back, or a handshake, when a match is over, helps build confidence. Also, words of praise or of encouragement from the coach or players help build self-esteem. This also helps them learn to trust their own abilities and push themselves in their pursuits. However, one thing that should be remembered is that their self-esteem should not be distinguished based on winning or losing. Constructive criticism should be a major part in helping children learn about accepting their weaknesses and working on them to improve themselves. To do this you could encourage your child to play sports, and always ask them whether they enjoyed it or not, rather than whether they won or lost.
Playing a sport helps children develop social skills which would benefit them even when they grow older. Playing sports teaches them about teamwork and cooperating with others. They learn to interact with people from different ages. Also, joining a sports team helps give children a sense of belonging and gives them an opportunity to make friends. With more friendship circles it would help improve their communication skills, which will help them in their future careers and relationships.
Accept Defeat at Times
In most of the things you do in life, there will be a winner and a loser. Through sports your child can learn sportsmanship. They can learn how to accept and cope with losses rather than feeling completely defeated. You cannot win them all, and through sports, your child can understand that sometimes it’s okay if you lose. The important part is to get back up and try again.
There’s no harm in being competitive, but if you lose you should show good sportsmanship and accept defeat. No one likes to be around a sore loser who doesn’t respect the rules, and this brings us to the next point.
Any sport requires the athletes to maintain discipline. This discipline could be mental, physical, or tactical. To become better in any sport you require discipline. Without self-restraint it would be hard to succeed in any sport. Discipline helps the player achieve their goals and also reach their fullest potential.
In sports your child would need to follow a set of rules, take orders and accept decisions made by the coach. Good discipline is appreciated in sports, as there are penalizations for bad discipline. By listening to the coach and peers, your child would learn an important life skill which would help him throughout their career and life.
There’s No I in Team
Teamwork is a necessary skill to learn from an early age. A team cannot succeed unless they work together. Sports provide children with the important lesson of learning how to work in a team. Everyone has to come together to achieve the goal. By working together they will learn each other’s strengths and weaknesses and will be better able to decide and strategize the best plan for the team. This will without a doubt help them in their future lives and careers as well.
There are various benefits of sports for your child. This list is not exhaustive. There are several other benefits such as a healthier living, more academic integrity, medical fitness, etc. All of these benefits just goes to show how much a child can learn outside the classroom as well. However, to get your child to play a sport you may need to encourage them. You can help your child become active in sports in several ways:
- You could be physically active in sports yourself. This would help them as you are leading by example.
- Support your child’s efforts in sports. Try to be there for every match that your child plays, for encouragement.
- Try to limit the time spent on sedentary activities such as watching television or playing computer games.
- Play a sport along with your child.
So why wait any longer? Get your child enrolled in a sport which they want to learn. While you’re at it you should try learning it as well!
The Mental Benefits Of Sport – News
The mental benefits of sport and physical activity cannot be overstated.
Sport has always been known for their physical benefits. In recent years, research has also found that sport participation can also positively affect your mental health.
For more information about how physical activity specifically affects your mental health and wellbeing, check out our resources page, or read on to find out more about all the mental benefits of sport.
Sport improves your mood
Want a burst of happiness and relaxation? It’s time to try physical activity!
Whether you are playing sports, working out at a gym or taking a brisk walk, physical activity triggers brain chemicals that make you feel happier and more relaxed.
Team sports in particular provide a chance to unwind and engage in a satisfying challenge that improves your fitness.
They also provide social benefits by allowing you to connect with teammates and friends in a recreational setting.
Sport improves your concentration
Regular physical activity helps keep your key mental skills sharp as you age. This includes sharp thinking, learning, and using good judgment. Research has shown that doing a mix of aerobic and muscle strengthening activities is especially helpful.
Participating in this kind of activity three to five times a week for at least 30 minutes can provide these mental health benefits, which will last as you age.
Sport reduces stress and depression
When you are physically active, your mind is distracted from daily stresses. Being active can help you to avoid getting bogged down by negative thoughts. Exercise reduces the levels of stress hormones in your body.
At the same time, physical activity stimulates production of endorphins. These are natural mood lifters that can help keep stress and depression at bay. Endorphins may also leave you feeling more relaxed and optimistic after a hard workout on the field. Experts agree that to determine the relationship between sports and depression, they need more research.
Sport improves sleep habits
Sport and other forms of physical activity improve the quality of sleep. It does this by helping you fall asleep faster and deepening your sleep.
Sleeping better can improve your mental outlook the next day, as well as improving your mood. Just be careful not to engage in sports too late in the day. Evening practices within a few hours of bedtime may leave you too energized to sleep!
Sport helps you maintain a healthy weight
The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) recommend sports participation as a healthy way to maintain weight.
Individual sports, such as running, cycling, and weightlifting, are all particularly effective ways to burn calories. Staying within a recommended weight range reduces the likelihood of developing diabetes, high cholesterol, and hypertension.
Sport boosts your self-confidence
The regular exercise that comes with playing sport can help boost your confidence and improve your self-esteem. As your strength, skills, and stamina increase through playing sports, your self-image will improve as well. Sport provide you with a sense of mastery and control, which often leads to a feeling of pride and self-confidence. With the renewed vigour and energy that comes from physical activity, you may be more likely to succeed in tasks off the playing field as well as on it.
Sport has been linked to leadership traits
Team sports such as football, baseball, and basketball are breeding grounds for leadership traits. Studies done in high schools reveal a correlation between sports participation and leadership qualities. Because of the opportunity to train, try, win, or lose together, people involved in sports are naturally more inclined to adopt a “team mindset” in the workplace and in social situations. The team mindset leads to strong leadership qualities over time.
Mental benefits of sport for young children
Sport can benefit children in many of the same ways that they benefit adults. The biggest difference is that when children start participating in sports at a young age, they are far more likely to stay active as they grow older. The same source also suggests that participating in a team sport improves academic performance, leads to better scholastic outcomes, and results in more after school participation.
Mental benefits of sport for older people
Sports isn’t just for young people! On the contrary, older people who are active are shown to be healthier and on average live longer. In remaining active as you get older, you can strengthen your muscles and bones, and reduce risks such as falls and heart disease.
Want to find out more?
If you want to get started, check out our sports for mental wellbeing resources to start your journey. We also have a load of insight and data surrounding sport, physical activity and wellbeing which you can find here.
Alternatively, if you’re looking for ways to get active yourself, why not explore our site to find an activity that’s right for you?
At Your Own Risk | Benefits of High School Sports
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
MORE LIKELY TO ATTEND COLLEGE IF THEY PARTICIPATED IN HIGH SCHOOL SPORTS
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.7382 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
↑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.7382 PERCENT of female executives played organized sports after elementary school and 60 PERCENT of these women execs agreed that sports participation gave them “a competitive edge in the business world.”70
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 88 A survey of more than 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 six to 17 participate in one hour of physical activity daily. Sadly, by the time they reach 6th grade, only 21.8 PERCENT of girls and 41.4 PERCENT of boys achieve this level of activity.86By contrast, those who participate in high school sports and remain physically active are 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
Benefits of Playing Sports Aren’t Just Physical – Sports Psychology – Youth Sports
The Benefits of Playing Sports Aren’t Just Physical!
The physical benefits of competitive sports are the most obvious. Much attention has been given to the role of sports and exercise in decreasing the rates of obesity in our nation’s youth. While lower body mass among athletes is certainly a desirable marker, it is not the only purported advantage of the regular exercise that comes with sports participation. Athletes experience lower rates of diabetes and high blood pressure, as well as improved cardiovascular and pulmonary function.
However, the benefits of sports are not simply limited to physical health. Here are just a few reasons to consider playing sports or encouraging your children to play sports…
The Pros and Cons of Youth Sports Aren’t Only Physical
Be mindful of a young athlete’s psychological well-being.
Against a backdrop of increasing childhood obesity, the physical benefits of sports participation are clear. Kids today need to move more, and being on a team or involved in a sport is a great way to stay healthy. But there’s also been more discussion of the physical risks that children face in sports, and with good reason. As a nation, we are coming to terms with the epidemic of knee (soccer and track), shoulder (tennis and baseball), and head (football) injuries related to specific sports. What’s talked about less often are the psychological risks and benefits related to youth sports…
Psychological Risks and Benefits of Youth Sports: CLICK HERE
Win the Game of Life with Sport Psychology
What separates good athletes from elite athletes? While skill, talent and athletic ability all factor in, mental skills are the major difference maker. Mental conditioning is useful in all walks of life. Whether you’re in the batter’s box, on a date, or in the conference room giving a presentation, we are all looking to get better. Dr. Jonathan Fader, Director of Mental Conditioning for the New York Giants, will show you how you can use the techniques of sport and performance psychology to win at life…
It is also necessary to ensure that children are provided with the necessary clothing and equipment. Leotards for rhythmic gymnastics and swimming, leotards and sports shoes must be of good quality and fit for the child.
Systematic training develops both the body of a young athlete and his logical and strategic thinking. Therefore, parents need to be able to create a positive atmosphere of achievement around the little athlete, and he will be able to feel the achieved success as a natural result of the efforts he put in.
Organization and discipline
Thanks to sports activities, children from childhood learn to use their time rationally. After all, they need not only to learn their lessons, but also to rest between workouts. For a child under the age of 11, it will be ideal if he can devote 5 hours to sports activities during the week. In preparation for sports, the amount of time can increase.
In such cases, a special regime is made up so that the little athlete has time to get the necessary education and devote a lot of time to training.Promising young athletes from early childhood are taught to save time and tough discipline. Therefore, sport will play a positive role in your child’s life if he does not become a professional athlete. And he will definitely become an organized and confident strong-willed person.