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Students + Team Sports= Better Grades

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  • Posted: August 25th, 2014

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    By: Sideline Sage

    Every flipping Fall I miss the deadlines for sports team signups. (It’s logical, really, because I miss spring signup for summer swim lessons, too) When it is still 90 degrees, I think it’s cruel to not only make us buy school supplies, but also register for soccer and football. But, yeah, sorry, LATE registration started JULY 25. What the--?

    Part of why I wait so long to think about fall sports isn’t just that I’m putting off the end of summer, but that I’m cheap (or poor). Before I fork over hundreds of dollars to put my children onto any kind of team, I really need to be assured I’m going to get something out of it. I mean, like, I want to know that perhaps parenting will be easier, somehow, if they learn a fabulous life skill. Or if the coach will MAKE them do homework so I don’t have to bargain and threaten?

    And I’ve found quite a bit of assurance, actually. Team sports not only build social skills and goal-setting. It turns out involvement—ANY involvement, not just star players and athletes (good news because my kids are, at best, merely “athletic”)--in team sports has big impacts on academic performance.

    A 2013 study by the University of South Carolina and Pennsylvania State University surveyed 9,700 high school students aged 14-18, who spread across all races, communities and socioeconomic groups.

    The study looked for correlations between students’ after-school activities and their school success, including the likelihood of moving on to higher education.

    The researchers found team sports, more than academic and vocational clubs, and performing arts societies, have “a consistent and significant effect on students’ grades across all schools.” Specifically, they found team sports are “significantly related to higher GPA’s” and “a higher likelihood of completing high school.”

    Also, a totally over-achieving doctor who heads the Division of Adolescent and School Health for the Centers for Disease Control (CDC) reviewed 50 studies that examined “the effect of school-based physical activity on academic performance and discovered that half of the studies showed positive associations and virtually none of the research demonstrated any negative impact” Dr. Howell Wechsler even found studies that proved short spans of physical activity help increase the length and intensity of concentration.

    Short spans? Like camps and classes? Sweet! You can still register for volleyball, basketball and tennis through Skyhawks. Those classes and clinics start in October. When it is actually Fall.

     


    Sources:
    http://www.dailymail.co.uk/news/article-2330445/Why-team-sports-really-improve-grades-Link-self-esteem-better-performance-classroom.html#ixzz3BBg1lHQS
    www.cdc.gov, http://www.livestrong.com/article/506980-do-sports-help-improve-grades/

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