Sports Can Make You A Better Student
Last updated January 7, 2020
Let’s be real, playing sports can take up ALL of your time. It seems like all you do is practice and compete. People are in awe when they find out you have amazing grades. It seems impossible for you to be an athlete AND have good grades, but that’s not the case. Being a student athlete may be the reason you are a better student! Here’s why.
You will be amazed at how focused you are! Physical activity has been known to improve concentration. By exercising regularly, the brain releases chemicals that can “better support memory, concentration, and mental sharpness” (May 2013. Get Your Heart Pumping in the fight against forgetfulness). As an athlete, you need to focus on your task at hand, it’s only natural it translates to the classroom.
Between practices and games, it seems almost impossible to find time to study and do homework. Since you must have good grades in order to stay on the team, you need to allocate your time so you can be as efficient as possible. Practice, a Saturday game, and a 4-hour study session? No problem for you!
As the saying goes, there is no “I” in “team.” Sports will give you the opportunity to work with others on a daily basis. Even if you don’t get along with one another, being a part of a team forces you to put aside your differences for the good of the team. Your ability to work with others also shows in the classroom, especially when doing group projects.
Leadership skills go hand-in-hand when it comes to being on a team. You might start off as a freshman and look up to the seniors. You’re always asking for help or advice from them. But as the years roll by, before you know it, you are now a senior doing the same thing for the underclassmen on your team. When you’ve built leadership skills on the field, it can easily spread into your academic life as well.
Pressure is second nature to you. With every game, you envision your team winning, but nerves can creep into your mind. You know how to calm the nerves and concentrate on the task at hand. Since you practice this in your sport regularly, when test day comes, you can tackle it with confidence.
Decision Making Skills
As a student athlete, you have to think on your feet! When you realize the play you had in mind isn’t panning out well. You must make swift and tactical decisions in order to give your team a chance at winning. You know to trust your gut and roll with the punches.
Communication is key when it comes to sports. Disagreements can arise especially when you have to work with different people and personalities. As a student athlete, you are great at communicating with your teammates when an issue arises; especially when it could create dysfunction on the team.
Being Critiqued and Critiquing
Playing sports is all about improving yourself. You want to know if your form is incorrect or if you need to try a different technique to improve an outcome. You don’t take it personally when others let you know something isn’t right. Not only do you take feedback, you’re willing to give it out as well. Your tough skin and no-nonsense attitude are skills your academic classmates might not have learned yet.
A Sense of Community
As a team player, you are surrounded by your teammates. You learn to rely on each other beyond the field. These players soon become more than teammates, they become family. As an athlete at school, you are also a representation of the school in your sport. Students and educators rally around you and want to see you succeed. This community is behind you 100%.
As a student athlete, you gain confidence in your work. Each season, you practice long hours and have a deep understanding of what you’re capable of doing. When others want to test you, you’re happy to show off your talent. Not only do you understand yourself in a sport, but you have a self-awareness not a lot of students have in the classroom. You know when you’re going to ace that test, but you also know when you need to ask for help.