Why High School Sports is Good News for Students


Sports programs have been an integral part of most high schools in America. They support the academic goals of schools, foster success in life. Moreover, these programs are educational and help produce productive citizenship. Typically costing less than two percent of a school’s overall budget, athletics are likely the best investment of any department of education. Students are the big winners because they learn valuable lessons that last a lifetime, including lessons involving character building, teamwork, self-discipline, and competitive attitudes.

Do you have a son or daughter participating in their school’s athletic program? If so, he or she is probably an above average student in the classroom. It’s a proven fact that participation in high school sports encourages better grades, self esteem, and a higher level of academic achievement. Granted, there have been hundreds of studies demonstrating successes from the student-athlete combination. This article reveals three of those studies.

In 1996, the Carnegie Corporation of New York discovered that students benefited from participating in high school sports. An improvement in grades, confidence, and personal health and welfare were appreciably noted in students involved in sports. In the class room, these students maintained greater discipline and a stronger work ethic in comparison to those who were not student athletes. The study, called “The Role of Sports in Youth Development”, also found that student athletes had higher-than-average social bonds with institutions and individuals.

Another study, this time by the Minnesota State High School League, found that 9 out of 10 students believe role models and leaders come from those participating in sports. A similar number of the almost 5,000 students polled felt that athletics encourages self-discipline. Clearly, such attributes must come from intensive guidance and are a derivity from physical activity training, teamwork, and a stronger desire to excel.

In 1991, the Hardiness Research (Casper, Wyoming) uncovered several interesting facts. Namely, male student athletes excel in school, don’t drop out, and have greater opportunities for graduating college. In fact, they are 100 percent more likely to see such results when compared to their non-athletic peers. Girls who participate in sports are three times as likely to achieve the same. The study, undertaken by Skip Dane, also showed that 92 percent don’t use drugs, have a higher degree of self-assuredness, take more difficult or honors classes, make better grades, are aware of college acceptance financial aid, and are more focused on life goals.

Got your attention? Ready to get out that set of gloves and play catch with your teen-ager? Great! Before you go, I’ll leave you with a few more encouraging facts. A professor at the University of Colorado produced probably one of the most widespread studies when he polled more than 20,000 students in 1999. He found that students who participate in an extra-curricular activity have “significantly higher” GPA than those who do not.

Perhaps it has always been obvious to you that high-school sports programs seem to produce leaders both on the field and off. You may have even noticed how a lot of the successful students at your school are also athletes. Well, now you’re armed with the facts.

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