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There are many benefits students receive from high school physical education classes that contribute to
students becoming responsible adults who are aware of the importance of a healthy lifestyle. High
school students retain a higher level of knowledge related to overall health that help them make
educated decisions regarding their own health, safety and well-being.

Regular Fitness Activity

Physical fitness is an important component to leading a healthy lifestyle. The inclusion of regular fitness
activity helps students maintain fitness, develop muscular strength and improve cardiovascular health. A
regular fitness activity improves the absorption of nutrients by the body, improves digestive processes
and increases physiological processes.

Builds Self-Confidence
The participation in physical education in high school provides a positive influence on a student's
personality, character and self-esteem. In addition, the team-building process enhances communication
skills, and the skills required to get along and cooperate with students of varying ethnic backgrounds
and personalities.

Develops Motor Skills

Physical education in high school is essential to the development of motor skills and the enhancement
of reflexes. Hand-eye coordination is improved, as well as good body movements, which helps in the
development of a healthy body posture.

Health and Nutrition

Physical education teaches students the importance of physical health. High school is an age where
students misinterpret the meaning of "overweight" and eating disorders prevail. Physical health and
education informs students on sound eating practices and the essential guidelines for nutrition.
Relieves Stress
High school students have substantial amounts of stress due to curriculum, homework, families and
peer pressures. Involvement in sports, recreational activities or other forms of physical fitness offer a
method of stress relief.

Special considerations may be necessary regarding physical activities for some students with health
issues, and those students should proceed under the direction of a doctor.
According to the Center for Kids First in Sports, 30 to 40 million children in the United States compete in
organized sporting activities. The benefits of participation include increased physical and mental health,
healthy competition among peers and the sense of belonging gained by being part of a team. Despite
these valid arguments for children participating in sports, there are a number of disadvantages that
should be considered. While the overall recommendation is not to avoid participation, awareness can
help prevent any undesirable outcomes.
Physical Injury
According to the National Center for Sports Safety, over 3 million children under the age of 14 incur
some type of injury as a result of sports. These may occur as a result of practice or a competitive event.
Broken bones can result from direct impact of a ball or a fall during competition. Injuries such as tears of
the anterior cruciate ligament (ACL) occur more and more in young athletes due to the rigors of practice
and competitions. Repetitive motion sports, such as swimming, may cause injuries to muscles or
tendons due to the overuse of specific muscle groups or joints during training.
Unsportsmanlike Behavior
Unsportsmanlike behavior is modeled in a variety of sporting situations. In both practice and
competitive events, children are exposed to other children who may exhibit undesirable behavior.
Examples include yelling, cursing or violence in response to self-anger or anger at a referee or other
player. In addition, children may witness parents engaging in these behaviors. Children learn behaviors
by seeing another person complete the same activity, and therefore witnessing these behaviors may
lead the child to mimic these in similar situations. Talk to children about appropriate behavior during
practice and games and how to manage anger in an acceptable way such as taking a few deep breaths
to relax. Any undesirable behavior witnessed by other players or parents should be discussed after the
event. Ask the children to give an example of how that particular individual could have better handled
the situation. This gives them an example of proper behavior in case they find themselves in a similar
Time Commitment
Participation in sports requires a significant time commitment from children. Practices, travel to and
from competitions and the events themselves all take time away from children's daily activities. While
exercise is important, these activities should not take away from sleep, meals or school. Find a balance
of these activities and avoid placing kids in too many sports and overcommitting their time. Encourage
children to study during downtime such as travel or between events or games to ensure school remains
a priority.
Undue Pressure
Young athletes may feel undue pressure from parents, coaches or other players to compete in sports
they are not interested in pursuing. Additionally, children may place excessive amounts of pressure on
themselves to perform at a level they are not comfortable with. Participation in sports may then lead to
a higher level of day-to-day stress that impacts other aspects of their lives such as sleep or school. Help
a child through this by speaking to him about his self-expectations, as well as expectations from others,
including yourself. Encourage participation and dedication, but listen to children if they feel the pressure
is not something they can handle. Seek the help of a sports psychologist who is trained to help athletes
deal with these types of pressures in a healthy and productive manner.
Many teens and parents wonder, "Why are sports important in high school?" The answer to this
question is simply that sports are important to the growth and development of a teenager's mind and

Importance of High School Sports

Sports foster many of the skills teens will use in high school and adulthood. The following are many of the
benefits of playing a sport in high school.

Promotes a Healthy Lifestyle

It's never too early to start a healthy lifestyle through diet and exercise. Teenagers who play a sport are
already starting a habit of exercise that increases the chances they will continue it throughout

Motor Skill Development

Teens use fine motor skills routinely in the classroom but not gross motor skills. Playing a sport gives a
teen the ability to develop and enhance their fine and gross motor skills.

Anger Management
Adolescence is a difficult time in life and sports provide adolescents an outlet. Hitting a baseball or
tennis ball can release tension and frustration after having a bad day. In addition, the activity can release
"feel good hormones" (endorphins).

Social and Parental Bonding

Teens who play a sport will most likely bond with their teammates and this improves their social skills.
Sports can also maintain and improve parent-teen bonding, if the parents are involved and encourage
their son or daughter.

Safe Fun
Teenagers need stimulation and if they don't play a sport or do some other extra-curricular activity, they
will find that stimulation elsewhere. Sometimes this can end up hanging out with the wrong crowd or
doing some other deviant behavior.

Improves Grades
Some schools won't allow students to play a sport if their grades are not at a certain level. This
encourages students to get good grades.

Teamwork Skills
As a teen gets older, he or she will mostly have to work as part of a team on a job or in college.
Understanding what it means to be a team player can benefit teens for the rest of their lives.
Appealing to Colleges
Colleges like to see students involved in extra-curricular activities. It means that they are well rounded
and understand how to balance other things besides schoolwork. For star high school athletes, it could
mean a scholarship and a spot on the college's team.

Brings Out Skills

Trying out different types of sports can help teens learn what they excel at. This can help a teen make
plans for their future based on how well they do in a particular sport.

Encouraging Sports in Teenagers

If you are a parent asking the question, "Why are sports important in high school?" and wonder how to
encourage your teen to get involved, there are some things you should keep in mind.

As a parent, you want the best for your teenager; however, it's important not to push your son or
daughter into something he or she doesn't want to participate in. Playing a sport should be voluntary
and a fun experience for your teen. While many coaches and parents pressure their teen to do his/her
best to win a game, it's not the best way to encourage a teen to love sports.

Always remember to congratulate your teen for an outstanding accomplishment in the sports he or she
chooses. If your teen isn't doing well, don't berate him or her. Take time to explain that sometimes it
takes time to excel at a sport and if he/she continues to persevere, he/she will begin to see

If your teen doesn't want to play sports, it is okay. Encourage your teenager to do something else such
as join a club or other extra-curricular activity. Give your teen options and let him/her choose. All
parents can do is provide their teens with information, guidance and support, the rest is up to the teen
to decide.
Explore the many benefits high school sports offer to students, both during the secondary academic years
and beyond.
Athletics have been a mainstay of the high school scene for decades. Today, the field has merely
expanded, encompassing an even greater variety of competitive options for male and female students
alike. While many students get involved in high school athletics for sheer love of the game, there are
significant benefits from these extracurricular activities as well. We have 10 ways high school sports
benefit students – some of which students and parents may not even realize.

Community Representation
While club sports have become a popular pastime for both students and college recruiters, there is still a
lot to be said for playing for your high school team. According to Unigo, students who participate in high
school sports learn the benefit of representing their community on the field or court. These athletes
learn the fun of team rivalries and revel in the praise of a job well done for their school. This feeling of
community and the honor of representing the home team may run over into college athletics if the
student advances in his sport as well.

The fitness level of athletes in high school sports programs cannot be underestimated. According to a
report from the National Federation of State High School Associations (NFHS), a 2006 study on female
athletes found that when female students are given more opportunity to participate in athletics in high
school, their weight and body mass improve. A 2001 survey found that students agreed they would not
spend as much time in sedentary activities like watching television and playing video games if they had
other options after school.

Studies also suggest that student athletes are less likely to participate in unhealthy or risky behavior
when they are playing sports in high school. The same report by the NFHS cited a 2002 study by the
Department of Education that found students who spent no time in extracurricular activities in high
school were 49 percent more likely to use drugs and 37 percent more apt to become teen parents. Just
four hours in an extracurricular activity like sports each week dramatically improved those numbers.

Improved Academics

A survey conducted by the Minnesota State High School League in 2007 and reported by the NFHS
found that the average GPA of a high school athlete was 2.84, while a student who was not involved in
athletics had an average GPA of 2.68. The survey also showed that student athletes missed less school
than their non-athlete counterparts, with a total of 7.4 days missed and 8.8 days missed, respectively.

Another study published in the Medicine & Science in Sports and Exercise in August, 2007 found that
students who were active in sports like soccer, football and even skateboarding performed 10 percent
better in core subjects like math, science, social studies and language arts. Because sports offer equal
opportunity to all students at the high school level, these academic benefits extend to all area of the
student population, including students that might be traditionally underserved.

The Importance of the 3 “P’s”

An article at Education.com talks about the 3 “P’s” student athletes learn that extend beyond the
classroom: persistence, patience and practice. Team members learn that practice is required, even
when they would prefer to be spending time with friends. They learn the harder they work, the better
they perform. They also discover that by never giving up, they are more likely to achieve their goals.
These life lessons benefit students long after the high school years, helping them succeed in college and

Teamwork and Cooperation

An article at We Play Moms explains that because everyone is working toward a common goal in team
sports, students learn firsthand how their performance impacts the rest of the team. Student athletes
must find their place, whether it is to be a leader of the team or to play a supporting role.

Positive Mentors

High school athletics are filled with positive mentors, from the coaches on the sidelines to the leaders
on the team. Students learn to work with a wide range of authority figures, who teach them important
lessons about hard work, respect and good sportsmanship. Early experiences with mentors like these
help shape student athletes in positive ways for the rest of their lives.

Social Relationships

Students who participate in sports often forge close friendships with others on the team. These
relationships are essential for mental, emotional and physical health throughout the high school years.
Students bond together over a common passion, and the time they spend together at practice and
games builds tight bonds that often last long after high school is over.

Leadership Skills

As students advance through the ranks of the high school team, they learn valuable leadership skills.
Senior athletes are expected to encourage younger team members and hold them accountable. They
set an example and often provide advice and guidance both on and off the field.

Time Management

Practice and games take up plenty of a student’s time, leaving much less for school work and other
activities. Athletes must learn time management skills if they are to get everything finished. One student
athlete told Growing Up in Santa Cruz, “It definitely helps time management-wise. It affects when I have
to do my schoolwork, and when I have to practice.

Success Mindset

We Play Moms outlines the mindset for success that is instilled in student athletes, which includes:
 Time management skills
 Creativity in finding ways to improve
 Strong focus and concentration development
 Internal skills for handling pressure
 Learning when to take risks
 Taking responsibility for individual performance
These skills go far beyond the sports field or even beyond high school. Student athletes reap the benefit
of their training for the rest of their lives.