You run towards the ball with great determination. You pump your arms faster as you sense an opponent gaining on you. As you finally reach the ball and you shoot it towards the goal, time seems to slow. The ball goes in and the crowd cheers. A smile spreads across your lips as you turn to high five your teammates. Another win for Stroudsburg sports.
Sports have been around for as long as anyone can remember. Many generations all over the world have been able to experience the thrill and fun of playing their favorite games. Schools across the country offer students all sorts of competitive opportunities.
The rush of playing can be experienced in school with the various sports that schools have to offer, yet how beneficial is it to play a school sport?
Playing a school sport can benefit one’s physical and mental health in various ways.
School sports help students with getting the exercise they need, while also having fun doing so. Research has shown that students who are active in school sports have healthier body weights, are fitter, and are more confident.
The risk of heart disease, blood pressure, and other chronic diseases are lower among people who take part in any form of physical activity at a young age.
Staying active can help not only with one’s sleep, but it also decreases anxiety and depression; ultimately, the fact is that active teens are generally more focused and happier than inactive teens.
“A growing body of literature suggests a relationship between PA (Physical Activity) and improved mental well-being for adolescents,” stated Mr. Robert Valois in Journal of School Health. “Participation in PA (exercise) for teens was associated with decreased anxiety and depression and improved academic performance; improved parental relationships, increased self-esteem, and decreased anger; decreased psychological stress; lower levels of mental health problems; reduced tobacco, alcohol, and marijuana use; and satisfaction with mandatory gym classes in school.”
Being part of a team also helps with developing long-lasting friendships and provides the opportunity to improve one’s social skills. It is a way to meet people with the same interests and to learn the value of teamwork.
“I play a school sport because I think it is fun to make new friends while doing something I love,” said sophomore Jessica Demarest.
When moving to a new school, many students find it difficult to befriend people. Getting involved in a sport can be a great way to solve that. Participants are likely to meet new people and create relationships with them.
“Coming to a new school I thought it would be a great opportunity to get to know people and do something I loved,” said junior Lara Stivala when asked why she joined a school sport.
It is probably fair to say that most students procrastinate on homework, projects, and more. Sports often force student to learn how to manage their time more effectively. Sports teach responsibility and time management, skills that are essential for the rest of one’s life.
Everyone hopes to get scholarships in order to pay less for college to get the education they need to get their dream job. School sports can help exceptional athletes earn scholarships, as well as continue to play the sport they love at a higher level.
“They [school sports] teach character and determination, and are a great way to stay in shape,” said sophomore Jacob Hoffman. “I play school sports so that I can enjoy myself, be physical, and challenge myself in something other than school.”