The Benefits of Joining a Sports Team in High School

By Katie Wilson, Advertising Director

Sports have been an essential part of the high school experience for decades. Many students join teams because they simply love the sport; however, there are many other benefits to these extracurricular activities. 

The most obvious benefit of participating in a sport during high school is staying fit. Sports allow students to exercise while still having fun with their peers. A survey in 2001 conducted by the National Federation of State High School Associations reports that students admit they would not spend as much time doing sedentary activities if they had other options after school, like sports. Exercise helps burn calories, strengthen muscles, and fight diseases.

Also, sports can help relieve stress. According to Harvard University, exercise reduces the levels of stress hormones like adrenaline and cortisol. It also stimulates the production of endorphins that act as mood elevators and natural painkillers.

High school sports teach students about teamwork. Athletes learn to work together as a team to achieve a common goal which is a necessary skill to possess. This skill could help with school projects or future jobs. 

Students must learn effective time management skills when they join sports teams. On top of practices and games, they must complete their schoolwork while still leaving time for a social life. With only 24 hours in a day, it can be difficult to complete everything, but athletes find a way. 

For some students, sports encourage them to perform better in school. Usually, there are grade and citizenship requirements to be on a sports team. Some students may need that pressure to keep up their grades and stay on track. A study published in the Medicine & Science in Sports and Exercise in August of 2007 reports that students who participate in sports perform 10% better in school. 

High school students learn about leadership skills when they are a part of a team. Upperclassmen are expected to set an example and guide the underclassmen. This relationship can teach them valuable leadership skills, which can be useful later when they get a job. 

Most importantly school sports teams allow students to feel a sense of belonging. This instantly increases school engagement because they have a reason to go to school and be around their friends. 

High school students should consider joining a sports team. Not only will students be able to play a sport, but they will also learn many skills and strategies along the way.