Should You Join an Athletic Team?


There are many benefits to playing sports and being on a sports team. Playing sports helps teenagers stay in shape, organize their time, and create friendships. Playing sports affects children physically, behaviorally, emotionally and educationally.

In America today, 29% of teens are overweight with only 30% – 50% percent getting the recommended amount of daily physical activity.

Playing sports improves health in a surplus of ways. Physical activity helps teens continue to grow properly. Sports can also play a major role in a child’s emotional health. Further, playing sports is proven to increase the quality of teenager’s sleep. It also combats severe diseases such as high blood pressure, heart disease, and diabetes.

The Basketball Team

Behaviorally speaking, sports teaches children and teens many great skills needed for life. Playing sports teaches obedience, dedication, tolerance, and how to prioritize. Dealing with wins as well as losses is an important lesson in life. This teaches children that sometimes they will work hard and win and feel accomplished whereas other times, they will try hard and lose, but that is okay. They can lose with grace.

Additionally, sports helps teenagers emotionally. Being on a sports team in school gives students a sense of accomplishment, such as, “Wow, if I put my mind to it – I can make the basket from half court.” Being a team member grants adolescents a sense of belonging and acceptance. Playing sports is also proven to reduce stress, anxiety, and depression.

But believe it or not, in addition to all of the effects playing sports has on one’s body and emotional well-being, it can actually help one educationally as well. Playing sports serves as a release and also promotes mental growth. There are studies that show how playing sports enhances skills in arithmetic, reading, and even memorization. Students can also get athletic scholarships to colleges.

Joining an athletic team has the capability of positively changing a student’s physical health, emotional state, behavior and performance in school. Incorporating sports into daily life practices is crucial to being a healthy teen, both mentally and physically.  

The Tennis Team

Emma Greenbaum, an 11th grader who’s been on the tennis team for three years, agrees. How does being on a sports team help Emma? “Being a part of the tennis team helps me take my mind off not only schoolwork, but all of the other stressful things. It relieves stress.” 17 year old Greenbaum also said, “Being on this team helped me learn all about being a good team player as well as a good teammate.” Although studies have been done that show that playing on a sports team may even improve sleep, Emma is one of few who does not see this in herself. Emma did say, however, that being a part of a sports team helped her “gain patience and sensitivity towards others.”

Be like Emma.  Join a sports team!