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 the 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.
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 from 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.