Middle School Athletics in Jenkintown
We value all areas of student development, not just academics. That’s why middle school athletics are a time-honored tradition at Abington Friends School. Our Middle School athletic program serves a critical role in the health and wellness of our students’ present and future lives. Participation, teamwork, fair play, confidence building, and skill development are all integral aspects of Middle School sports. Young people need a variety of experiences to grow both physically and socially, and sports offer unique learning opportunities.
We encourage athletes to play for two or all three seasons if they are interested, and we require students to participate in one of the three seasons in 6th-8th grade. Athletic participation is encouraged but not required for students in 5th grade.
Since AFS emphasizes engagement, skill development, and team membership at the Middle School level, a wider percentage of students are able to reap the many benefits associated with athletic participation compared to more selective Middle School programs. Robust student involvement does not preclude the pursuit of competitive success, as AFS Middle School teams take pride in playing their games the right way and playing to win. We look forward to having you join our team.
We want these formative years to hold fond memories and useful lessons students can look back on as they face the challenges of growing up. In fact, we believe sports provide benefits that students will use throughout their lives.
1. Develops Time Management Skills
Middle school sports require a time investment; athletes are expected to attend practice on time and maintain a rigid games schedule. Of course, they have other responsibilities, such as maintaining grades and participating in home life. With several activities to juggle, students learn how to allocate their time efficiently.
Of course, we also know that everyone needs time to relax and regroup. For some, athletics serves that purpose. For others, they learn to set aside the necessary time to look after their mental health. Either way, students are able to find their limits and organize their time appropriately.
2. Teaches Teamwork
The majority of middle school athletics are team sports:
In each, athletes must work together toward a common goal. Students who participate in sports learn to use their talents in tandem with others; they discover the delicate balance of using their strengths and relying on others. This mindset is helpful beyond the field as well — individuals who know how to work cohesively with others can excel in group projects at school and the workforce.
3. Improves Physical Health
Physical activity is vital to one’s health, especially for growing children. In the U.S., childhood obesity is a major concern, as it can lead to high blood pressure, diabetes, and other health conditions. Exercising regularly is a key part of fighting obesity and maintaining health in general.
Students who participate in middle school sports exercise regularly and learn important health information, such as stretching and pushing their physical limits safely. Individuals also learn about nutrition and how to meet their bodies’ needs when doing a lot of physical activity.
4. Provides a Community
When students join a sports team, they’re also joining a community. They have teammates to rely on and coaches, assistant coaches, parents, their Abington Friends School peers, and the larger community of sports fans. Taking an active part in this community offers a sense of belonging and pride. This resource can be life-changing for young people, especially as they face personal challenges and prepare for independence.
5. Improves Decision-Making Skills
Ideally, we make decisions after taking the time to research and process all the information. However, there are instances where a split-second decision has to be made, often in life-threatening situations.
Sports allow kids to develop the skill of decision-making under pressure by providing low-risk opportunities to practice. The ability to remain calm and act decisively in emergencies is sure to serve students well throughout their lives.
6. Increases Self-Confidence
Middle school is often a tough time for kids who are still learning who they are and what kind of person they want to become. There are many social pressures to wear the right clothes, say the right things, and have the right interests — if children don’t fit in, their self-esteem can be negatively affected.
Sports offers students a way to build self-confidence; as they acquire and refine their skills, they can take pride in their accomplishments. They also learn the value of perseverance and the necessity of hard work to achieve their goals.
7. Develops Communication Skills
To work as a team, you have to communicate with your team members. Middle school athletics provide students with the opportunity to learn and practice communication skills.
Athletes also have the opportunity to learn about escalation and conflict resolution. During a game, emotions are high, and it’s easy to get swept up. When conflict arises, teams can practice good communication by acknowledging the issue and having a respectful discussion. Afterward, they can review their experiences and figure out how to avoid such conflicts in the future.
8. Provides Fun Opportunities
First and foremost, sports should be a fun experience for students. While hard work and responsibility are integral to winning a game, athletes should ultimately find enjoyment in their sports. There’s something to be said about the thrill of a well-made play or the exhilaration of winning a game. At the end of the day, sports should be something kids look forward to.
9. Teaches Students About Themselves
Finally, sports help kids learn about themselves. Are they a natural leader? Are they happier to play a supporting role? Do they get more satisfaction from scoring a point or making a fantastic defensive play? As growing children, middle school students are still discovering themselves, and sports can offer incredible insight into their personalities.
Sports are just one aspect of the Abington Friends School’s efforts to help students learn and grow. In fact, we support students in their emotional, social, and spiritual journeys as well. For more information or to enroll your child, give us a call at 215-886-4350 or contact us online.
Middle School Teams and Schedules
Select a team to see its schedule and team page
Select a team to see its schedule
Select a team to see its schedule
Middle School Personal Fitness meets during the winter season of athletics and is open to any interested Middle School students, with preference for athletic credit given to 8th graders. Daily AFS Middle School Personal Fitness program activities focus on cardiovascular and strength training.