What are your chances of making it big as an athlete? Let's take a look.
|Male Sports||College||NCAA D1||PROs|
|Female Sports||College||NCAA D1||PROs|
You get the idea. The chance of becoming a professional athlete is extremely low. Why spend the money? Don’t do this, but if you add up all that you have spent, and will spend, on sports, you will see several very nice vacations that could have been had.
What about the time spent? You can never get that back. All the pick-ups and drop-offs, travel to far away games and practices, and then sitting there for hours watching the game or the match. All the hard work and effort that is put in and the result may still be a losing season.
Why go through all of that? Why not just focus on what is important? Academics are the thing that will lead to becoming a doctor, a lawyer, a philosopher, or a fill-in-the-blank. So why?
I am glad you asked. Yes, here at The Saint Constantine School we are academically driven. But as our website says:
At The Saint Constantine School, we endeavor to educate the whole person: head, heart and hands.
We are embodied people, and learning to care for and challenge our physical bodies has always been a part of a well-rounded classical education. Our coaches and instructors are working hard to build an athletic program that gives students life-long skills and discipline in their habits and allows them to develop confidence in competition and experience the joy of working as a team.
The whole is made up of multiple parts. If one is left out or not embraced, then as one of my favorite coaches said (and I paraphrase): when you have a three-legged stool with two legs, life's balancing act is difficult. He was referring to baseball players whose coaches teach them how to win the game, but neglect to teach them how to be men. In the same way, a school experience that focuses only on academics is incomplete.
It is time to make time for the betterment of the person as a whole.
Research shows that athletic children have a cognitive advantage over non-athletic ones. According to a study conducted by Michigan State University, children that participate in athletics exhibit better memory, organization, and strategic planning skills. They also tend to perform better in their academics than those who don’t participate in sports. This is because sports tend to stimulate the executive functioning of the brain, which is responsible for adaptive cognitive processes involving decision making, problem solving and other cognitive processes. The study also found that sports impact the brain’s plasticity, which refers to its ability to change according to external stimuli like in game responses. When children take part in sports, they are not only working on their physical health, but improving their cognitive abilities, which directly translates into their academic performance.
Better academic performance is also due to the enhanced time management skills they develop while participating in their sport. Balancing their athletic commitments with their schoolwork requires students to develop good organizational habits and adhere to set schedules. This habit of managing their time effectively translates into managing their academic workload in a more meaningful way.
Participating in sports also helps in having better emotional regulation. Children who suffer emotional upheaval tend to perform poorly at school or college. According to a study conducted by a nonprofit organization called Early Advantage Corporation, children's participation in sports increases their control over their emotions, reducing stress and improving their sense of well-being.
Multiple studies support the idea that athletes exhibit better cognitive abilities, more focused attitude towards learning, and better chances of social and emotional development. Sports programs act as an exciting and engaging way to improve academics by laying the foundation for a healthy and active lifestyle overall. The physical benefits are just one aspect, with additional well-rounded cognitive benefits only emphasizing the advantages of sports in the life of any young person.
Sports a waste of time? Not so much.