By: Shannon McCarty & Kim Mishler
Playing sports provides young athletes with much more than physical benefits.
Many experts agree there is a direct correlation between playing sports and academic achievement. Studies show involvement in sports improves academics by helping student athletes learn important life skills that go beyond physical well-being.
When children play sports, they increase their ability to focus. Cognitive ability is increased thanks to improved blood flow to the brain - which stimulates endorphins positively impacting energy level, mood, problem solving abilities, academic performance, and overall behavior.
Athletics are also an excellent stress fighter for kids. After spending several hours in class, playing sports gives students a way to refresh their mind while improving concentration and focus for school.
Discipline is also a key soft skill learned through athletics. Student must follow rules of their sport and obey coaches. While other students are idle, and at a higher risk for drugs use, student athletes are kept busy with training, practices, and games. With discipline, young athletes are more apt to set goals and take the necessary steps to achieve them.
Young athletes also learn how to manage their emotions better by playing sports. Coaches help train student athletes how various negative emotions effect their performance and how improved emotional intelligence can create success. Emotion management skills learned at a young age help people handle critical life challenges later in life.
Over time, playing on a team encourages athletes to constantly work with others which fosters mentorship and team building skills. Young athletes learn skills to build positive relationships which are a necessity for future and professional relationships. These skills also help obtain and keep jobs.
Overall, critical skills like communication, teamwork, collaboration, time management, and decision making are all life lessons learned through playing youth sports.
Newton Park was created to help children grow mentally and physically to become the best versions of themselves by providing numerous opportunities to be a student athlete. Hundreds of children are the opportunity to play soccer, softball, baseball, and tee-ball at our Hall of Fame facility in Lakeville, IN.