The importance of sports in the life of a young student is invaluable and goes much further than the basic answer that "it keeps kids off the streets." It does in fact keep kids off the streets, but it also instills lessons that are essential in the life of a student athlete. Sports play a pivotal role in the makeup of a young athlete, especially in the middle school to high school years where student-athletes are much more mature and mentally developed. Where else can a young, impressionable youth learn values like discipline, responsibility, self-confidence, sacrifice, and accountability?
Television, which may be the most influential tool in the lives of young adults, does not show enough of these qualities,nor is it on the Internet, or radio. Rather it is up to the parents, teachers, sports teams, clubs, and after school programs to help mold, develop, and instill these qualities into the lives of student athletes. I believe in order for this to happen, school sports programs must have a few components in place. The first thing they need is a good core of coaches that understand the great responsibility that is placed upon their shoulders to help shape and prepare these student-athletes not only in sports, but in their everyday lives. Yes, I did say coaches, because it is a responsibility that lies on the shoulders of more than one person and it is going to take more than one person to help lead these student-athletes to success. The second component also involves the coach
By Lisa Dunning, MA, MFT
High school is a time to make friends, get good grades, participate in activities and prepare for the future. Unfortunately, due to budget cuts, some schools have opted out of high school sports, believing that money would be better spent on academics. I understand that academics come first, but sacrificing high school sports lessens every child's high school experience, their ability to perform at optimum academic levels and develop into a well-rounded adult.
The Importance of High School Sports Can Be Found in Elementary School During a child's elementary school years, children typically lose their recess privileges as a consequence to poor behavior. This consequence can have the opposite of the desired effect. Recess is the place where kids let out their aggression and release frustration and anger, allowing the children to better cope with the aspects of school they do not enjoy.
High School Sports Promote Bonding and Encouragement
What many administrators, teachers and parents fail to realize is that high school sports offer teenagers the same outlet. Participating in high school sports is important for motor skill development, maintaining a healthy exercise program and provides for a release of anger when the academic stressors become overwhelming. When youth participate in high school sports they release endorphins which helps decrease depression and increases energy. Most high schools, if not all, require at least a C average to participate in these sports, which provides the child with accountability. High school sports increase bonding between children and their parents when parents help with skills and come to games to cheer their child on.
High School Sports Boost Overall Morale And Support
High school sports offer a release that is needed for every student. High School Sports enables the entire school to come together, whether playing, or observing, to cheer for their school. If your child is having difficulty making friends encourage them to join a high school activity or to go to a game and cheer for their school. It boosts school morale when students meet to cheer for their team. While offering an enjoyable distraction from the stressors of school, teenager's negative perception of school as a place akin to a prison is replaced with increased school pride. This increased interest in school generally results in increased enjoyment in academics, resulting in better overall test scores and grades.
Adults Look Back on High School Sports Fondly
When adults look back on their time in school many do not remember their teachers, classes or grades but they do remember the high school sports they participated in or observed. They often look back on these memories fondly and look forward to their children having similar experiences. Encourage your teenager's high school to keep high school sports around so every teenager can have a better overall high school experience.
Lisa Dunning is a Licensed Marriage and Family Therapist Specializing in Parent/Child Relationship issues, the author of "Good Parents Bad Parenting: How To Parent Together When Your Parenting Styles Are Worlds Apart" and the host of her own radio show, "Life Support". She provides marriage, divorce and parenting phone sessions to clientele across the United States and Canada and provides expert parenting advice to newspaper & magazine columnists. To learn more about Lisa Dunning visit her website at http://www.lisadunningmft.com/.