Health and Psychological Benefits of High School Sports

Playing soccer and lacrosse for my high school was easily one of the best decisions I have ever made. Through these sports, I gained lifetime friends, developed leadership skills, and learned how to work well with others. Not to mention, playing sports was also a great way to stay in shape and get involved with my high school. In addition to these short term benefits, playing high school sports has shown to provide several long term benefits as well.

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I read a New York Times article that talks about a study that correlates high school athletes  earning higher salaries later on in life. This is so because high school athletes tend to do better in school and thus, go to more competitive colleges. I always received higher grades during my sports seasons rather than in the off-seasons because I would manage my time better and release pent up energy during a game or practice which allowed me to focus on school work. Researchers found that physical movement creates several changes in the brain including, increased cerebral capillary growth, blood flow, oxygenation, the production of neurotrophins , and much more (TrueSport). These changes improved attention, information processing, storage, and retrieval. It can also aid with creativity, memory, and problem solving abilities. These enhancements make high school athletes much better students in the classroom. Upon going to more competitive colleges, they end up receiving jobs with higher pay out of school. High school athletes tend to possess higher confidence, self- respect, and leadership than those who did not partake in high school sports and businesses recognize that.

Another study shows that playing sports in high school can also lead to long term health and fitness. Researchers found that elderly men who played varsity sports as teenagers go to the doctor fewer times per year than men who didn’t. The Huffington Post describes that by playing high school sports, you are predicted to be more physically fit and have fewer doctors visits 50 years down the line (Huffington Post). Studies show that participating in sports improves life expectancy, coronary health, as well as cardiorespiratory and muscular fitness (Livestrong). As we get older our metabolism slows down however, participating in high school sports has shown to increase metabolic rates and get rid of excess body fat.

There are several short term and long term benefits to participating in varsity high school sports. High school student athletes do better in school and thus receive higher paying jobs, and they also have improved long term health and wellness. If you didn’t have a reason to regret not playing a sport in high school, now you do!

6 thoughts on “Health and Psychological Benefits of High School Sports

  1. Hannah Morgan

    I played soccer and basketball in high school and I agree that I did better in school during sports seasons. Sometimes, I wondered if it might be that I tended to ease up during the end of the school year, but this post confirms that sports really do change your mental state, along with improving fitness. During soccer season, I didn’t mind going to school because I was more involved and had something to look forward to at the end of the day. After a two hour break from academics, I was always more focused doing my homework and less likely to procrastinate. I also agree that playing sports provides beneficial life-long traits, from a healthy lifestyle to an improved work ethic.

  2. lkv5058

    I played football and lacrosse in high school and I owe many of my best traits to my experiences while on these teams. I learned time management, leadership, teamwork, dedication, and hard work during my high school sports career and I feel as though employers will really value these traits later in life. It doesn’t surprise me that high school athletes make more in life because I think employers value well rounded employees the same way college admissions offices do. Being well rounded is always a good thing and this post definitely supports that. If you want to know some other ways to impress potential employers, check out this link.

  3. jnn5095

    After reading your blog, I gained a large amount of respect for student athletes. I have never personally been an athlete of any kind, however I believe that it requires a lot of strength and resilience to be an athlete. I feel that if I was more active in a sport I would not be overweight, maybe I will join.

  4. Summer A Carson

    I owe so much of who I am today to playing high school sports. I only played one sport, field hockey, but we played all year round. In addition to just my high school team I played indoor and club. Playing field hockey made me a very disciplined person based off my busy schedule and most importantly a leader. After being a captain twice in high school field hockey, I decided that a management major would be the direction I would head in. If i never played sports in high school I could easily be lost right now with no idea what to major in! I read through the article of the Huffington Post you attached and I am happy to hear that on average students that played Varsity sports are more likely to live a more healthy lifestyle!

  5. Ashton Blair Pinter

    In high school I was on the variety cheerleading team for all four years. The season was long and grueling, I had practices multiple times a week in addition to weekend games and fundraisers. Like you and the research you found, my grades somehow always managed to be at their best when I was in season as oppose to out. I think being involved with school athletics definitely teaches time management along with the obvious health benefits. I am so glad I did cheerleading in high school. Awesome post!

  6. David Louis Haselkorn

    Through reading your blog and the articles attached I totally agree that playing sports is a key factor to health and success. Playing a sport usually requires a high level of fitness which in return has many benefits. One of the leading causes to many diseases can be obesity and no physical activity. My mother is a fitness trainer and my father is a doctor. Both of them are very knowledgable on this subject and they always stress the importance of working out and staying fit. My mother gives exercise classes at schools before big exams because studies doing exercise stimulates the brain leading to better test scores. When my father sees a patient who exhibits poor health habits, the first thing he says is that they must start exercising and losing weight. This blog is extremely accurate.

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