Sports & School

All my life a participated in sports. I went all through grade school, and high school with an athletic activity following my school day. A lot of girls I participated on teams with, would always complain that being in a sport caused them to stress about school. I never once have felt that way. I always thought that I did better in school because I did a sport. It helped keep my schedule consistent, and I was always more mindful of my time-management. This caused me to wonder if there was any link between participating in sports, and performing better academically.

Researchers from theĀ University of South Carolina and The Pennsylvania State University, have deciphered data derived from over nine thousand students in the fourteen to eighteen age range. These students were from a wide range of geographical, and socioeconomic backgrounds, and they participated in various types of after school activities. These activities included sports, arts, and academic clubs. Of these activities it was found that participating in a team sport seemed to be the only activity that held steady results across the board.

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Professor Matthew Irvin headed this research, and was pleased with the findings. His explanation basically entails that sports allow one to boost their set-confidence, which radiates into other aspects of their life, in this instance school. Being on a team, one is exposed to positive role models, social interaction with teammates, constructive criticisms, and most importantly physical activity. All of these elements prove to motivate one to strive, achieve in their academics.

Another explanation for this comes fromĀ The Society of Neuroscience. Through their research, they have found that when one subjects themselves to physical activity they subsequently up the number of brain cells in the hippocampus. The hippocampus serves many purposes, one of which is being the memory center of the brain. That being said, the hippocampus is pertinent to one’s ability to learn, and thrive in an academic setting. They also uncovered that being exposed to social instances has a similar effect on the number of one’s brain cells as well. These findings collaborate that participating in sports is beneficial to students, as athletic activities offer both physical, and social benefits.


4 thoughts on “Sports & School

  1. Benjamin R Tuohey

    I spent a lot of my time and still do playing sports and working out. If anything I feel as if sports had a very positive impact on my life. They taught me countless lessons I have met tons of people from them and ultimately made me who I am today. I feel like being so busy with sports in your free time you have to get your work done, so I feel like it helped my prioritize my things and get my work done more efficiently and helped me with time management skills. Overall I think sports are and can be very beneficial to life in general

  2. Reetu Shah

    I am going to go and Segway onto a topic that correlated to your topic. I do like this topic, and completely agree. I used to play tennis, and loved getting back home and only having a few hours to do my homework. It got me so motivated. Question, do you ever feel like maybe they just said it in the moment, or the idea of so many things to do made them nervous? That might be a reason.
    I have been a big preacher of exercise and how it releases happy endorphins. From a website a found, “6 Reasons why Exercise makes you Happy”, it talked about how these happy endorphins are the chemical called Dopamine
    If I wanted to test this hypothesis out, my x-variable would be kids doing the exercise or not. The y-variable would see (since I cant really measure happiness) if they were less stressed out before doing exercise. I will take 20 students who don’t exercise. I will make half the students do about 20 minutes of jogging in the morning for 2 weeks, while the rest of the students do nothing. One 3rd variable could be the amount of homework they get that week. If it happens to be a lot less, then the kid will obviously be less stressed out.

    Here is the article!

  3. Thomas John Krieger

    This a well done blog. I think you are correct in your hypothesis of thinking that sports helps kids. Many people just look at the physical improvements to your body because of sports. More people need to realize that sports help mentally too. Team sports especially help because you learn many valuable lessons in working with your peers to complete a common goal. Even some teachers are using sports to teach teamwork as seen in the link below.

  4. Patrick Ryan

    I also participated in sports like baseball and basketball throughout grade school and high school and I agree with you that sports really have a positive effect on your performance in school. In school I could relate what we were learning back to sports which gave me a good technique of learning. I like the study that you found because there were a lot of subjects being tested which can decrease the likelihood of chance and make the study a lot more valid.

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