Tuesday, June 7, 2011

Want Your Kids to Excel in School... Get Them Involved In Sports!

The value of education is well understood.  And like healthcare, education is certainly a primary area of concern; specifically literacy, problem-solving skills, grades and post-secondary education.  As students enter high school they are tasked with the difficult job of balancing classes.  In Ontario, students are only required to take 1 year of physical education in high school.  Most students after grade 9, will no longer take physical education to make room for other classes, and will also discontinue their involvement in sports.
Photo: An important life lesson. Tyler Anderson

It is as if there is a pervasive myth that doing sports will take away from academic excellence.  Ironically, it has been shown that increasing the time allotted to physical education in schools does not lead to decreases in academic performance.  In fact, “students who participate in high school athletics do just as well academically, if not better, than non-sport participants and are less likely to drop out of school.”

The many skills which sports offer are transferable in the realm of academics.  In the classroom sports improves memory, observation, problems-solving, decision making, attitude, behaviour, and creativity (just to name a few).  Not surprisingly, students involved in sports typically achieve higher grades…. Oh, and they are also likely to achieve higher level of education!   
Essentially, sports assist in developing a balanced and well-rounded student.  And an added plus is that they are more likely to have a continued healthy lifestyle, live long and have a good esteem about their selves.  So my question to you… knowing all of this why wouldn’t you want your child to be involved in sports???

Eccles, J. S., & Barber, B. L., 1999. Student council, volunteering, basketball, or marching band: What kind of extracurricular involvement matters? Journal of Adolescent Research. 14, 10-43.

Erin Hoops Basketball's Effect on Learning

Guest, A & Schneider B., 2003. Adolescents' extracurricular participation in context: The mediating effects of schools, communities, and identity. Sociology of Education. 76, 89-109.  

Katz, N., 2001. Sports teams as a model for workplace teams: Lessons and liabilities. Academy of Management Executive. 15, 56-67.
Tremblay, M. S., Shields, M., Laviolette, M., Craig, C. L., Janssen, I., & Connor Gorber, S. 2009. Fitness of Canadian children and youth: Results from the 2007-2009 Canadian
Health Measures Survey. Health Reports. 21, Statistics Canada, Catalogue no. 82-003-XPE.

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