When it comes to high school athletics, there is an array of benefits for students who participate. Not only can it improve physical and emotional wellness, but there are also long-lasting skills such as teamwork and sportsmanship that develop for athletic students. Abington Friends School implements strong Quaker values with athletic activities to give students the ability to improve more than just their game. Here are seven benefits of high school sports to consider.
1. Prepares Students for the Future
Students who participate in sports learn a sense of preparedness for the future. Being a high school athlete teaches kids that other people depend on them. Students develop the self-discipline, motivation and leadership skills that they will need to succeed in building a purposeful life. Missing a practice or showing up late results in consequences, which is a lesson that will serve them well as they enter the job force.
The AFS athletics program develops students into strong athletes who are leaders with integrity and perseverance, prepared to continue their competitive athletic experience in college. Many AFS alumni have gone on to excel at universities such as New York University, Georgetown, and Howard. Throughout AFS history, alumni have become Olympic athletes, sports journalists, and collegiate coaches.
2. Increases Student’s GPAs
Some parents worry that the extra time spent on the field or court will negatively affect their child’s GPAs. However, the opposite is true. Students participating in high school athletics are more connected to school and community life which results in better academic results and engagement at school. Not only that, but they are also encouraged by their coaches and teammates to achieve success.
Students say that playing sports has helped them to develop a sense of work ethic and has increased their motivation to succeed. One of the benefits of high school sports is that it increases a sense of self-awareness and pride that translates into the classroom. Student-athletes are driven to do better in all aspects of their lives.
3. Provides Students with Time-Management Skills
Students who play sports often have to juggle busy schedules. Between school, practice, games, and friends, learning how to manage time efficiently is a skill that most high school athletes quickly learn. Students must be able to prioritize their time and become efficient in their tasks so that they can strike a
balance. This is essential for adult living as well and will prepare them for juggling responsibilities in the future.
4. Supports a Life of Health and Wellness
We all know that an active lifestyle is far healthier than being sedentary. Participation in high school athletics teaches kids the importance of movement and physical fitness. When these values are emphasized to students, it’s much more likely that they will stick with these habits as they grow. An active person will ultimately face fewer health risks in the future.
Another one of the benefits of high school sports is that most students who participate find that it helps their overall mental health and wellness. For students, playing sports is an excellent way to improve their overall physical and brain health through the outlet of physical activity.
5. Teaches Teamwork, Collaboration, and Compromise
Being part of a sports team helps teach students valuable skills such as how to be part of a team, how to compromise, and how to collaborate. Team members have to learn how to work individually and how to work together. Players are taught that the team’s performance together is stronger than just one person’s performance alone. Teamwork is an important skill to learn and will serve students well as they enter the workforce and have to become part of a team of workers. Many skills gained through high school athletics are readily transferable to life after athletics.
6. Promotes Leadership Skills
Often, older members of a sports team act as mentors to the younger players. This helps teach leadership skills to people who are in a position to help others succeed. Older members of the team are often looked to for guidance and encouragement.
For older players, they learn how to perform better to set an example. This will help them to carry responsibility with confidence throughout their lives as they move into having careers and families.
7. Develops Positive Character Attributes and Community Spirit
The three “P’s” that are taught on sports teams are persistence, practice, and patience. These are positive character attributes that result from actions like committing to practice on a daily basis, persisting through adversity and supporting teammates from the sidelines. These attributes will last a lifetime and will serve students well as they go throughout their lives.
Each season AFS Varsity teams employ Quaker Decision Making to select their Edward G. Thode Jr. Athlete Award recipient. The voices of all team members are weighted equally as they come to a sense of unity about who best represents their team and AFS, based on qualities beyond athletic prowess like work ethic, consistency, and sportsmanship.
Contact Abington Friends School for more information on how athletics can help promote good character, academic achievements, and performance or to enroll your student in AFS athletic programs.
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