Saturday, July 4, 2015

Youth sports involvement

There are people who frown upon children participating in athletics at an early age. There are numerous amounts of kids who positively benefit from starting to compete during their youthful years.  Sports create a discipline for maintaining good nutrition & fitness which can be incorporated into a healthy adult lifestyle. Organized sport provides a worthwhile outlet for childhood's excess energy1.  Not only does sport help out with fitness and diet, but it could possibly keep a child interested in school and even potentially improve grades.  Physical activity is associated with improved academic achievement, including grades and standardized test scores. Further, such activity can affect cognitive skills, attitudes and academic behavior, including enhanced concentration, attention, and improved classroom behavior (GAO, 2012)2  I started participating in organized sports at six years old.  I began to love sports so much that I would do anything to make my parents proud, just so I could continue to play.  My parents took advantage of my love for sports and  influenced me to do great things academically.  I attempted to impress my parents on and off the field.  Youth sports doesn’t just teach kids how to run, kick and shoot, but also teaches  valuable lessons that are learned while taking part in sport.
  • ·  Hard-working - As a child, being a student athlete means staying on top of your school work, while making sure your athletic obligations, such as practice and games were met.
  • ·   Accountability- You have to make sure that you are passing your classes and staying out of trouble so that you are available for practice and games.  Being a youth athlete also means being a role model to your classmates.
  • ·    Competence- Coaches are teaching these youth athletes’ new skills and also how to execute plays during the game.  Being novices in sports means there brain is working to retain all of these new skills and the technology of the plays.
  • ·   Positive lifestyle-Sports in particular, can positively affect aspects of personal development among young people, such as self-esteem, goal-setting, and leadership. However, evidence indicates that the quality of coaching is a key factor in maximizing positive effects.  Another study shows female high school athletes are less likely to be sexually active, to use drugs, and to suffer from depression (Women's Sports Foundation, 2004)2
  • ·    Higher education-High school athletes are more likely than non-athletes to attend college and get degrees; team captains, MVPs achieve in school at even higher rates (US Dept. of Education, 2005)2.  After high school, in my mind there was no way that I was continuing my education.  I received an athletic scholarship from Tarleton State University and when I began college I figured out that the NFL was farfetched.  I began to take school seriously because I wanted life after football, but without the game, I don’t think I would have ever attended a higher education institute.
Playing youth sports can be a life changer or even a life saver for children.  I know by experience that it helped mold me into a responsible young man that worked just as hard off the field as I did on the field.



  1. I agree. I think children should be exposed to sports at an early age. It teaches them things they wouldn't learn without the experience of sports. I also think that it is a great motivator to get kids to do well in school.

  2. It is true that children who participate in sports are more likely to stay in school and earn better grades. They have better concentration, better cognitive skills, are more alert, and more patient. Today, I also teach kinesiology at a community college and am routinely shocked by how lazy, tired, uninspired young people are, not to mention woefully out of shape. Twenty years old and I have males who can't do 20 pushups; females who can't do 6! Thank you for this article. It reminds me that we ALL have to keep pushing the importance of physical fitness for our youth.