High School Sports

12 Amazing Lifetime Benefits of Participating in High School Sports

If you love sports, then there are many automatic benefits you get working in an activity you enjoy. But beyond the pleasure aspects and cheap plastic trophies, there are additional, practical benefits gained by participating in high school sports programs that can help you throughout your lifetime.


  1. Fitness

Sports activities during the high school years provide the most obvious benefit of physical fitness. To get or remain competitive in athletics, you have to practice regular training routines. You work out, practice the techniques, rehearse plays and strategies until they can be repeated automatically. An athlete program also causes emphasis on maintaining healthy diet and hygiene.


  1. Improved Academics

There is no place for “dumb jocks” in a well-run athletic program. School sport programs require minimum grades be met in order for players to participate. In many cases, this provides the motivation for otherwise non-academically focused students on doing their best at the main purpose for being in school… to learn.

Sport programs take up a lot of additional time, so an added benefit for their future academic success is the necessity to manage time well. School class time, plus homework, sport practice, additional gym time, sport events, time traveling to events, a part-time job and the additional sleep needed to recover from the additional physical work all combine to force the student athletes to manage their time well. The ability to balance all these demands will really be an advantage when students go off to college or begin their careers.


  1. The three ‘P’s which combine to build perseverance

These three combine into one highly valuable benefit.

  • Persistence – Keep after a challenge or a goal with tenacity, even in the face of obstacles.
  • Patience – Not giving up when the first several attempts don’t work out with success.
  • Practice – Doing something over and over until you reach perfection.

The combination of these subtly different but related qualities will give that player drive and a killer instinct. They will naturally attack their goals and not be disheartened when they fail or lose the match today. Perseverance may be a good fourth word for this set or perhaps the word to represent the sum of the three.


  1. Social Relationships

When you’re part of a team, it is like a family. Many hours are spent together. Some are fun and some come with challenges. If a student is from a small family or is an only child, they may gain a great deal more social interaction being part of a high school team.

Teamwork is a large component. Playing together in a team sport one learns to coordinate their actions with others. They learn that there are times to take charge and times to lend support. Teammates also help one another to overcome challenges. They cooperate to achieve their team goals.

As they work through practice, they build loyalty and dependability. They recognize that they are not alone and learn to take responsibility for their part of the team effort.


  1. Positive Mentors

The opportunity to work with different coaches, each possessing different qualities, personalities and changing moods can be valuable. They will learn how to take constructive feedback and use it to improve their performance. They will be taught how to analyze their opponent and adapt to create an advantage. This is also a great opportunity for a player to learn how to respect authority because the team all follows the coach together. There is peer pressure to follow the coach’s instruction and guidance. It is also one of the strongest opportunities, after one’s own parents, to observe how adults deal with disappointment, challenges and success.


  1. Leadership and Career Advantages

Within a team, there are leadership opportunities. A player might become team captain. They may be asked to lead a warm-up or drills. As they grow more mature, the underclassmen will look to them for guidance and see them as a role model. If one never has opportunities to try out the work of leading, they won’t know what to do when the chance arises in the real world.


Here are some other additional leadership and career related benefits of high school sports:

  • Gleaning creative ways to improve performance and technique
  • Regular practice at maintaining focus and concentration
  • Building experience handling pressure
  • Reducing resistance to taking risks

All these things combine to give an athlete a far chance of career success. There is also an additional benefit detailed in this New York Times article. Having experience as an athlete elevates you as a good candidate in the eyes of hiring managers! It gives you an edge over the competition. An advantage is a good thing, when you’re trying to land a great job among fierce competition.


  1. Community Representation

An athlete wears their team colors and uniform. They are ambassadors for their school and community whenever they travel to an event, or whenever others come to compete against them.


  1. Recognition for your achievements

It feels good to be recognized for achievements. The instant gratification of applause and shoulder smacks is a boost for self-esteem and confidence. It also builds character to lose and feel good about your contribution. The outcome of one game doesn’t define you or your quality as a competitor.


  1. Understanding the sporting hierarchy

Number #3 from this similar list points out that responsibilities change through the high school years. Freshman have certain jobs to do and the same is true for Sophomores and so forth. The underclassmen get to observe where they will be in the coming years. Watching good and poor examples help craft the person an athlete will become.


  1. Physical and Psychological Benefits of Sport for Girls

Many benefits apply to both sexes. But there is additional statistical evidence that female athletes have special added benefits. Here are a few:

  • Female athletes are 73% more likely to earn a college degree within six years of graduating.
  • They are less likely to face obesity, drug use, sexual victimization and depression.
  • They gain confidence and a sense of belonging.


  1. Sport as an Agent for Social Change

In the same article referenced for the previous point, there is a social benefit for athletes. The experience of high school sports has a statistical likely that a student will earn about 30% more in their careers. Playing in sports could literally change your future and make your family tree more fruitful!


  1. Follow-through and hustle

None of these benefits are separate and compartmentalized. There are overlapping ways each of these points help high school athletes. This final one borrows two phrases that may be cliche. A player that learns good follow-through will keep their commitments. They will better manage their schedule, keep up with conditioning, protect themselves better against injury, etc. They will understand that many peripheral efforts, when aligned, can give them a great advantage to their main focus.


A player that learns to hustle can keep that momentum up. They will learn to have a sense of urgency in other areas. They will adopt a work hard/play hard mindset.

It isn’t just sports


This list has primarily focused on high school sports, but if you’re not inclined to sports, many of these advantages can also be found in other school organizations like band, choir, scouts and other extra curricular clubs and organizations. A couple of these may even provide exercise as well.

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