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Athletic programs promote healthy lifestyles, instill discipline

The player dribbles down the court. Crowds gathered in the stands jump to their feet as team passes and shoots. The ball lands in the hoop and crowds rush the court as their team wins the game. High school sports remain vital as they encourage teens to engage athletically with their peers and lead an active lifestyle.

Alyssa Reese | The Feather Online

Athletic programs encourage students to engage physical activity.

Critics of high school sports argue that athletic programs in high school fail to prepare participants for life after graduation. Students gain nothing from the trophies and awards they achieve while playing a sport.    

However, students who participate in sports now reap the benefits later in life. A study shows that student athletes are twice as likely to attend college than their counterparts. College degrees lead to jobs that offer larger salaries. A 2017 study performed by The United States department of Labor show college graduates earn 30 – 40 percent more than those who did not graduate.

Athletes are more likely to finish high school than non-athletes. A 2009 study conducted by the University of Kansas finds that 94% of students who dropped out of high school didn’t play sports. Students who participate in sports have more of a reason to stay in school.

This same study states that graduation rates among athletes are 10% more than students who do not participate in sports. Districts across the nation have grade requirements for athletes. Whether it be the inability to allow Fs or GPA requirements, standards like these force students to maintain acceptable grades in school.

As teens become more sedentary, health issues arise from the lack of exercise. High school sports promote an active lifestyle where students build their physical capabilities through practice and competition with peers. Engagement with sports teams causes teens to lead a healthier lifestyle.

The habits built on athletic teams and the values instilled by coaches during practice help establish discipline in young athletes. That discipline and instruction then lays a foundation for a healthier life after high school.

High school sports remain a crucial aspect of high school as they allow for physical activity and opportunities to succeed athletically in an academically focused environment.

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