The health benefits of participating in sports either through school or a club team seem pretty obvious. Any time you’re getting out and exercising is a good thing. However, there are lots of other positives to being involved in athletics.
Playing a sport gives you the opportunity to interact with people and create friendships you not have otherwise. Many times, these friendships and a sense of team loyalty continues once the season is over. This support group can be a vital part of your high school experience.
Coaches can also be a great addition to your support system. Good coaches act as role models, providing you with wisdom and guidance. They help bring a team together, teaching you how to put aside differences and work with various personalities to achieve a common goal. Coaches can also give you the motivation to push yourself academically as well as physically.
As an athlete, you have a built-in reason for not participating in illegal activities such as drinking and taking drugs. Of course, you wouldn’t want to these kinds of chemicals in your body because they would affect your ability to compete at your highest level. In addition, most schools have a Code of Conduct that expressly prohibit student athletes from engaging in these kinds of dangerous behaviors. In short, drinking, taking drugs and using tobacco could get you kicked off your team.
Athletics also helps with your academics. Schools often require a minimum GPA to participate in sports, so you have to keep your grades up to keep playing. Athletes are many times encouraged to and rewarded (scholarships and special recognition) for obtaining academic excellence. Reaching this level requires you to find balance between homework/studying and practice/playing. The time management and organizational skills this helps you develop will be a huge help later in life.
Ultimately, only you can decide if participating in a sport is right for you. When it comes time to make the decision, weigh the pros and the cons carefully. Just remember there are a lot of good things beyond simply getting exercise.