More and more teenagers are passing on the opportunity to practice a sport and that’s not good.
It is a bit unsettling to know that while most teens ages 13 to 17 are physically able, only about 40% of them partake in sporting activities, whether it is competitive or recreational. Unfortunately, the downward trend may likely continue because today’s young people are being lured into “activities” that require only hand movements like video games, social media or web surfing.
If you have not picked up a team sport as a hobby, now is the perfect time to give it a try. Beyond the simple enjoyment of playing, there are several other good reasons to join a team sport. Below are a few of them:
- You Will Make Friends
When you join a sports team, you will inevitably make friends because teammates share so many fun and exciting moments. Your friendships should last long after you finish playing. There is also one more perk: most teams traditionally go out to eat after a game.
- Practicing a Sport Gives You an Identity
When you practice a team sport, there is a good chance it has influenced your behavior, such as learning chants, being able to spot good and bad moves and talking about the events online or with your friends.
This also brings you a little closer to what you love and means you can share this passion with others.
Many studies reveal that playing sports can boost your brainpower. A report from the Institute of Medicine stated that children who are more active show greater attention, have faster cognitive processing speed and perform better on standardized academic tests than less active children.
This should not be too surprising as exercise increases blood flow to the brain and blood flow to the brain stimulates brain growth. Plus, playing a sport actually does require you to think on your feet and strategize, keeping your mind sharp and alert.
In sports, individuals learn to rely and motivate each other to accomplish a common goal. Although individual sports are great, team sports teach you a life lesson: a team’s success depends on how well the members work together. Not even the “star player” can win the game alone.
Playing sports also teaches you to play fairly and respect the other players on the opposing team. Cheating, fighting and gloating do not belong to sports. Playing sports teaches you to try your best and exhibit honorable behavior whether you win or lose a game.
- You Will Have an Advantage in the Workplace
Not all people who play sports are “dumb jocks.” Studies indicate that girls and boys who played sports are more likely to land higher-status jobs than those who did not.
According to a study from Cornell University, teenagers who played sports developed stronger leadership skills, worked better in teams and demonstrated more confidence. The study also stated: “Participation in competitive youth sports ‘spills over’ to occupationally advantageous traits that persist across a person’s life.”
- You Will Learn to Focus and Manage Your Time
Sports require time and commitment, but most players usually perform better in school and are more likely to be involved in clubs or community service. How is this possible? Playing a sport requires teenagers to develop two crucial skills: focus and time management. Focus and time management are vital traits in getting things done and accomplishing an individual’s short and long-term goals.
Whether or not you are a natural-born athlete, there is probably a sport that is just right for you. Practicing a sport even as a hobby is an essential part of education, which is why our school system offers different options. Choose one that you are genuinely passionate about to always enjoy it.
Let us know in the comment section what hobby you picked up recently.