Sports in schools yield positive results in many areas of young people’s lives than most of us realize. This is in stark contrast with the perception of some parents that if their children linger at school after classes, they inevitably form groups from which they will learn wrong values, and for that reason down the road will only serve to mess up their lives. How mistaken this perception is.
On the contrary, engaging in sports after school, whether it is included in the curriculum or not, will teach students how to socialize with their classmates and fellow students; in the end, the students, as adults, will learn how to win friends and maintain their relationships. School-provided coaches will teach the students how to respect authority that is so invaluable in later societal life.
A big benefit of sports in school is that youngsters learn early on to avoid illegal drugs. By getting their minds focused on sports after school, the youngsters have no more time, without them consciously realizing it the inclination to experiment on drugs. Studies have indicated that adults who as children dabbled in sports are less likely to be hooked on drugs in later life.
Part of the reason for this phenomenon is that the parents of the youngsters tend to also involve themselves in the sports their children participate in. When the children practice for forthcoming games, the parents are often there to encourage them to give their best in what the school and the child’s teammates expect of them. The strong familial bond that develops between parents and child will tend to ensure the children, when they grow up, do not find the need to seek other sources of support.
Other benefits of sports in school include the fact that youngsters who participate in sports activities tend to be healthier and more physically fit than children of their age who do not. Nowadays children tend to develop fat at a young age, thanks to various junk foods and the inordinate time they spend on cell phones and tablets. Engagement in sports will curtail all that, or at the very least provide a way to balance the sedentary time spent on digital devices.
Studies have also shown that youngsters who engage in sports after school perform academically better — meaning their grades are higher — than other children who opt to go home after the bell for the last class had sounded. This is explained in the fact that students who do sports have more relaxed minds, de-stressed brains and stable emotions that enable them to concentrate on their studies better.
Youngsters dabbling in sports also develop early on a sense of teamwork, cooperation with others, and a capacity to think and solve problems as a group. All of us have seen how basketball players, egged on by their coaches, utilize the little remaining time to win, even if they are way behind in points. They huddle together and quickly map out a strategy that, defying odds, carries them to victory. These activities contribute to socialization and creativity.
A big benefit of sports in school is the acquisition of discipline and self-confidence in young people. Because many sports are structured activities, the students learn to follow the rules of the game with a view to achieving victory. Society at large has many structures in place, and knowing how to respect them and play by the rules without cheating can help one advance in ways society approves.
And here is something else. In sports, the young children may sometimes find themselves representing their schools in friendly inter-school competitions. Soon they graduate to representing their communities or their towns. Sooner still they are chosen to represent the country. When they do that, they will have achieved one of the highest honors reserved for those who love sports — the carrying of our national banners!
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