Danielle SweetMrs. TilleryA.P. Literature17 November 2011 Senior Paper: Why Sports are Beneficial to a High School Student There are pros and cons to any extracurricular activities that a high school studentmay commit too, but the advantages to choosing sports are worth the time invested. In highschool sports, there are a wide variety of choices that allow students to find a sport that theycan enjoy. Not only does becoming an athlete cause great fun for the student, but also createsan environment that will be very advantageous. The benefits that are included with highschool students who are involved in athletics include a healthier lifestyle, building of self-confidence, development of respect for others, learning the importance of responsibility, andincrease in future academic opportunities. One major aspect to why sports are beneficial to teenagers is that it can cause ahealthier lifestyle.Recommended by experts, teenagers are required 60 minutes or more ofmoderate to vigorous physical activity each day. Exercise alone benefits every part of thebody, including the mind, aiding physical appearance, weight loss, lower risk of diseases,and can help a person age well (Teens Health 1). Going the extra mile really does counttoward learning a better lifestyle habit into adulthood. Along with these health benefits,young adults in sports are less likely exposed to the dangers of drinking, drugs, and obesity.One main reason why teenagers use drugs and alcohol is because of the feeling of escapingfrom a situation or simply boredom. To help prevent drug and alcohol use, giving these
young adults an active interest in athletics when they are young, and continuing that interestthrough their teen years, are less likely to consider these illegal activities. Proven facts showthat teenagers that are busy are less likely to engage in drug-related behaviors. (Teen Drug)This also encourages parents to build a bond and keep track of their teenagers by keepingthem occupied in extracurricular activities. “A strong bond between parents and their teenmay help prevent your teen from abusing drugs” (Mayo 1). Sports in adolescences encourageparents to become more involved in their teenagers life, which can be promising in theirfuture by building a healthy relationship with each other. Teenagers who have activities tokeep them busy do not have time to think about drugs, or any other kind of harmfulactivities. Also, the commitment teenagers make to a sport almost makes itphysicallyimpossible to experiment with such activities because their performance levelwould be diminished. With these major health benefits only proves that sports in adolescenceinsures the child of a promising future. Another main factor of the pros athletics has on the adolescent is a boost of self-confidence. Sports help "build confidence when you know you can practice, improve, andachieve your goals” (Kids Health 1). Building of self-confidence is important for teenagers tolearn at an early age because it can help a student to make new friends, having a morepositive self-image, and most importantlyfeeling good and happy about themselves. All ofthese factors are important in the developing process of adolescence. In addition to this, thegrowing of self-confidence assures the teenager that he or she is more prepared for the worldwhen growing into adulthood. "I think athletics is probably the closest thing we have topreparing kids for the world of work," Caroline County Assistant Superintendent Eric
Cunningham says, "it teaches kids how to play different roles and how to get along with adiverse group of people"(Coghill 1). When a youth is proud of their accomplishments, beingencouraged from family and friends, and most importantly setting goals and achieving them,they are in an environment that exudes self confidence. Creating self-assurance in anyteenager is greatly favorable due to the uplifting qualities that can develop in them. "Good coaches teach respect for the opposition, love of competition, the value oftrying your best, and how to win and lose graciously" (Clark 1). This quote was spoken byBrooks Clark as he shares to young athletes the importance of respect in any game. Respectis another key factor and benefit of why student athletics are important in the growingprocess of any high school student. There are infinite ways sports can teach respect. Forinstance, teenagers learn to obey the authority of the coaches. In order for a team to functionas one, the requirements from an adult leader are a must. Failure to do so results in themalfunction of a teams play along with consequences to the individual player alone. Also,student athletes learn to respectothers by learning how to be humble in any victory andgracious in any defeat. Although any athlete values winning highly, they quickly learnthrough wins and losses that one of the most crucial aspects of the game is humility(How DoSports 1).By learning this, students learn to respect their peers which can lead to morefriendships along with the impression from parents that the student is very mature. Inaddition, there is a development of inward respect for self that comes along with learning torespect others. Respect is important for any student to learn if he or she wishes to besuccessful in life and without learning this may result in a troubling future.
The teachings of responsibility are crucial in the development of a teenager growinginto an adult. Sports have a way to teach this life skill in many ways. For instance, timemanagement skills are important to learn and can be difficult to adapt to when a teen is firstgrowing into adulthood. As teenagers learns to balance their time between school work, freeplay, and a sports team when first involved in athletics, their skills in time managementincrease tremendously (Skyhawk 1).Along with time management skills, athletics alsoteaches the important life lesson of leadership. In high school, it can be very difficult for astudent not to fall into the temptations of peer pressures. Learning leadership is verybeneficial to teaching students to be more of a leader, not a follower, which can come inhandy in questionable situations that can occur in high school such as cheating, drugs, andother detrimental activities. These two qualities that are brought up through responsibilityshow the positive side sports can have on any high school student. Finally, another major reason why athletics are nothing but beneficial to teenagers isthe fact that sports help improve academics. To be a part of a high school team, teens mustfollow the school guidelines in order to participate in extracurricular activities. “Participationin sports encourages kids to stay in school. In order to play on the football, basketball orbaseball team, youngsters have to stay in school and keep their grades up” (Silverman 1).This instantly encourages the student athlete to try and maintain a high GPA which is verybeneficial to the student athlete’s future. Also a plus, if the student wishes to take their sportto the highest level, it can also help them enroll into a college with the help of an athleticscholarship. This alone is extremely helpful for those who live in a low income familyenvironment that make it near impossible to send their teen to college. Although the process
of trying to obtain a scholarship is not easy, the NCAA does give thousands of scholarshipsyearly and invest millions of dollars on the education of their student-athletes (Dial 1).Withthe motivation of increasing the athlete’s skills in their sport in order to hopefully receive anathletic scholarship betters their chances at a promising future. Good Grades, collegepreparation, and scholarship opportunities are all positive enforcements sports can affect inany student athletes life. The fundamental elements of sports involvement in the high school setting set thestage for a successful future. Students are enveloped into an environment where they aregiven the tools to be better individuals. The setting is one that allows the student to learn anddevelop key components of adulthood. Many psychological professionals believe that ifteenagers are taught these fundamental adult skills early in life, there is a higher rate ofsuccess in early adulthood. The advantagesthat are received by highs school students who takepart in athletics include a healthier perspective, self-assurance in themselves, development ofrespecting others, creatingan understanding of responsibility, and a promising academic future.
Work CitedClark, Brooks. "Famous Sports Motivational Quotes."Motivational Story.N.p.,n.d. Web. 17 Nov. 2011. <http://www.motivational-story.com/sports-motivational-quotes.html>.Coghill, Taft. "Sports Teach Lessons." Fredericksburg. N.p., 8 Mar. 2010. Web.17 Nov. 2011. <http://fredericksburg.com/News/FLS/2010/032010/03082010/532697/index_html?page=2>.Dial, Jenny. "College Scholarships Rare for Highschool Students."Chron. HoustonChronicle, 1 Feb. 2010. Web. 1 Feb. 2010.Kids Health."5 Reasons why girls should play sports."Editorial.Kids Health.N.p., May 2009. Web. 16 Nov. 2011. <http://kidshealth.org/kid/stay_healthy/fit/5_sports.html>.Mayo Clinic Staff.Editorial.Teen Drug Abuse.N.p., 2 Aug. 2011. Web. 16 Nov.2011. <http://www.mayoclinic.com/health/teen-drug-abuse/MY01099/NSECTIONGROUP=2>.The Nemours foundation."Teens Health."Editorial.Nemours.THe Nemoursfoundation, 2011.Web. 16 Nov. 2011. <http://kidshealth.org/teen/your_body/take_care/exercise_wise.html>.Silverman, Steve. "Do Sports Help Kids Stay Out of Trouble." Editorial.Livestrong.N.p., n.d. Web. 18 Mar. 2011.