Sports improve a person’s physical, mental, emotional, and social well-being. It is, in fact, a form of language that promotes belongingness, mutual respect, and tolerance. But sports are more than just that—at least for several youth who need to get off the streets and stay away from substance abuse, teen pregnancy, crimes, and violence.
A high school in Salt Lake City or other cities must work to create programs that will integrate sports into their curriculums. Girls and boys aged between 13 and 18 are being trained for different sporting activities that will teach them to cope with life’s social, emotional, and psychological challenges. With sports, teens are more communicative, self-aware, and emphatic.
Good Academic Standing
Teens who participate in sports are more motivated to do well in their academics. Since most competitive sports events are governed by a state’s rules and regulations, athletes are more likely to keep their grades at the minimum average to continue to be eligible to participate in the events. They rarely fail classes, and they follow a higher standard in terms of their roles in the community.
Most student-athletes also work hard to get good grades and extra-curricular activities since these will look good on their college applications. They are also more competitive, doing their best to win games and be individually great at their sports, in the hope that colleges and universities will offer them scholarships. They are more goal-oriented, often wanting to join professional teams later on.
Mentors and Role Models
Whether it’s a team sport or individual sports, student-athletes are more likely to look up to their coaches and athletics administrative staff. Through their love for sports, they develop relationships with their mentors. This is especially important for teens who struggle with relationships in the family. Kids whose parents are going through a rough time or a divorce will need to look up to someone older than them for comfort and parental guidance. For many athletes, their high school and college coaches are the biggest influences of their lives.
Health and Better Choices
Playing a particular sport in school will require much of a teen’s time. They mostly spend their time practicing, competing, or studying so that they can stay eligible. Since they are busy doing positive things, they stay and abstain from getting into trouble. Female athletes, in particular, have better self-esteem, and they also make better choices to keep their bodies in tip-top condition. As a result, they stay away from unhealthy food and booze.
Environment and Friendships
Student-athletes are surrounded by peers who share the same interest as theirs. This keeps them away from being with the bad crowd. They foster relationships with their teammates, and they are held to higher standards in the school. As a result, they become more responsible, often becoming student leaders.
While sports are not the be-all and end-all of keeping teens out of the street, it is a good start. Many athletes, such as Lebron James and Amir Khan, swore that sports kept them out of joining the bad guys on the streets. Support from parents, adults, coaches, and teammates is crucial for their success.