Youth sports can play a big part in youth development. When we were children, our experiences and environment molded us into the adults we are today. The activities we engaged in, the people we came in contact with, and the ideals we became familiar with all played a huge part of our development. It is apparent that when kids are put in a positive environment where they can play together, share experiences, and work towards a common goal, good things happen.
Itâ€™s obviously a little too early to prepare little Bobby for landing a job, but encouraging him to learn things like teamwork, sportsmanship, and leadership, all while making new friends, will shape his character in a way that will stick with him for the rest of his life. But for now, all he needs to worry about is how to get that ball in the net.
As kids get a little older and move onto high school athletics, the correlation between sport and success becomes more palpable. A Minnesota State High School League study found that student athletes are more than twice as likely to graduate than non-athletes. They also showed to have a higher average GPA (2.84) than non-athletes (2.68,) and were absent from school fewer days per year.
The reason for less absenteeism as well as higher GPA is partially because most high school sports clubs will not allow an athlete to participate if he or she is absent or doing poorly in class. This gives them extra incentive to set goals and plan to meet them. There they also learn invaluable skills like preparation, hard work, and perseverance in the face of failure.
For female students, the statistics are even more prevalent. Female high school athletes are 92% less likely to get involved with drugs, 80% less likely to get pregnant, and are 3 times more likely to graduate than non-athletes. (Birmingham Athletic Partnership)
Start early! Encourage your child to try out a sport. It seems insignificant when they are young, but the tools they will develop at a young age will give them a much better chance of succeeding later in life.
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