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4 October 2016
How Sports Positively Influences Adolescents
The impact of sports as a whole has allowed adolescents to create themselves in a positive and uplifting way. Kids should take up extra-curricular activities such as athletics, whether they are the star athlete or just an average person wanting to find an outlet to keep them busy. Recreational sports give kids a reason for belonging in this world and provide them with a sense of direction. Recreational sports are extremely important for adolescents because sports help adolescents to stay away from childhood obesity, prevents them from engaging in rebellious behaviors, gives them leadership skills, allows adolescents to meet new individuals, and gives them the courage to do better in school studies.
Recreational sports are a tremendous way to help kids stay away from childhood obesity. Sports are among one of the best ways to help adolescents stay active and healthy in a stress-free manner. Data from the Health and Research Survey states that about one-third of children and adolescents ages six to nineteen are considered to be overweight or obese (Physical Activity 1). This statistic goes to show that adolescents and children are not getting the proper exercise needed daily to ensure the prevention of obesity. Adding exercise or weekly activities, such as recreational games or sports, can help limit the severity of obesity throughout the world. Sports provide a phenomenal way to get out and exercise. Some children/adolescents may say that exercise is boring, but adding a sport in the mix could facilitate their decision to get into shape. A study done by Dr. Keith M. Drake and his colleagues states that if all adolescents played on at least two sports teams per year, obesity rates would plunge by twenty-six percent, and the prevalence of overweight adolescents would fall by eleven percent (Sports Seen as Key 1). This goes to show that playing sports teams can significantly diminish the prevalence of adolescent obesity in America. By taking these particular measures, sports can reduce the obesity rates, while adolescents find an enjoyable way of doing so. Losing weight does not have to be difficult if teenagers do not make it that way. Sports is one of the exceptional ways of keeping fit.
Not only does sports help reduce the obesity rates of adolescents, it also allows them to stay out of rebellious activities. Drug and substance abuse is a problem for many adolescents as they grow into young adults. Teenagers will be exposed to drugs around the time of early adulthood, but sports could most definitely prevent them from engaging in these types of rebellious behaviors. An article by Maegan Olmstead states that sports can help women, or any gender for that matter, reduce the amount of smoking or substance abuse because of the effect it has on his/her lungs (How Sports Help). Drugs have a negative effect on the lungs that can inhibit the athlete's performance level. Smoking is the number one cause of negative lung intake. By playing sports, the athlete cannot physically take the dramatic effects drugs have on the body. If there is an athlete trying to get recruited by a college scout, how is that person's body going to react to the effects of drug use? Another statistic from NIDA Notes states that high school students who exercise regularly are less likely than sedentary students to smoke cigarettes or abuse marijuana (Volkow 1). Simply engaging in daily physical activity can provide adolescents with an outlet other than engaging in these types of rebellious behaviors. By preventing the use of these particular drugs, sports can have a positive impact on adolescents' bodies and improve his/her health.
Following the importance of sports to limit adolescent substance and drug abuse, sports also provides teenagers with tremendous leadership skills for their future endeavors. Leadership is such an important skill in world as a whole. Leadership is used often, but most adolescents do not understand its importance until later in their adulthood. Sports can facilitate athlete's minds in a way that is subtle but admirable. An article by Tara Duggan states that participating in sports helps people develop confidence and make quick decisions necessary to succeed in leadership roles of all types (Duggan 1). For example, the defense of a football team must try to attack the offensive line after the snap of the football. Once the football is in the hands of the quarterback, the choice of the defense is to sit back and watch, or find and attack the quarterback's weaknesses in order to gain possession of the football. Life is much like this when leadership is involved. Sports provide athletes with a sense of direction and belonging. Training the brain by playing sports allows athletes to see life in a powerful way by finding weaknesses and how to overcome those weaknesses. Although the lesson is not quite the same as a game, applying this to a real-world situation can make all the difference for an adolescent's leadership roles. An article by Michael Ray Hopkin also states that sports is all about taking one for the team (Why Sports Builds Leadership 1). By taking one for the team, that person is the one who stands up and sacrifices himself/herself for the sake of the team. Much like in the real world, there are situations in life where there must be a person who arises from the crowd and leads by example. It is very hard to have a team without a particular leader who leads the group by example. Sports allow adolescents to arise from the crowd of followers and lead by example. This is so important in today's society because of the lack of leadership taking place.
Sports is an awesome way to provide adolescents with the opportunity to meet new individuals as well. Some people are better at making friends than others, but sports helps make meeting new people easier and stress-free. An article states that sports is a great way to meet people of different varieties (Finding Friends 1). Playing sports helps people meet other people of all ethnicities. Every person is working together toward a common goal, which will help any individual feel as if he/she has already met a friend without even trying to. It is an awesome way to find people whom teenagers can trust because of the feeling of that person always being there as a fallback. For example, softball requires nine total individuals to create a team; three of those nine are in the outfield. If the ball gets through the infield, one of those three people in the outfield will be there if the ball goes through. This is much like trust. If that person trusts another, there is always that feeling of reassurance that person will be there. This helps many adolescents feel at ease in making friends they can trust. An article from Reader's Digest suggests that finding a recreational sport to play could meet the gender-specific needs of someone looking for a friend (How to Meet). Finding a sport that interests an individual can absolutely aid in a desire for new friendships. If the adolescent is looking for a gender-specific friend group, sports can help with that. There are also co-ed teams which involves the use of males and females for one specific group. This allows many different varieties of people to meet each other while working toward a common goal.
Finally, sports are important in improving confidence in students' studies. Sports provides individuals with the confidence to do well, whether it is on a field or in the classroom. Matthew Irvin stated that sports allow students to develop a mentoring-relationship with adults and with positive, school-oriented peers (Why Team Sports Really Do 1). This goes to show that students who are surrounded with positive and uplifting students will benefit positively. There is a great chance that a person who is surrounded by school-driven students will be impacted by their peers. Sports will test an athletes’ determination and confidence in and out of the classroom. The same effect goes for someone who is involved in drugs. If a certain individual is involved in doing or selling drugs, there would be a negative influence on the people around that person selling drugs. Sports is all about being a positive influence on the people around each other, which has a direct correlation with good study habits in the classroom. Sports also allow a competitive edge, which can translate into the classroom. Being competitive with physical being influences the brain to be competitive in the classroom. Cameron Smith similarly stated that sports play a role in intervention and guidance provided daily by experienced coaches who understand the academic and athletic success (Smith 1). Many coaches will not let their athletes play if his/her grades are below a certain requirement. If a grade for a particular individual is lower than desired, a coach may step in and provide study hall hours to help the athlete catch up on their studies. This provides the athlete with the mentality to "be a go-getter."
Recreational sports influence adolescents in many desirable ways. Sports not only facilitates the avoidance of childhood obesity, but it also prevents the abuse of marijuana, provides leadership roles on and off the field, encourages the desire to meet new people and inspires the adolescent to strive in the classroom. Sports allow adolescents to strive to be the best version of themselves physically and mentally without any hesitation. Being an athlete does not mean you have to be one of the best, but allows the individual to feel a sense of worth and self-belonging in this world. The importance of sports is on the rise because of the qualities it encourages humans both physically and emotionally.
Duggan. "Do Sports Help Improve Leadership Skills." Live Strong, www.livestrong.com/article/537884-do-sports-help-improve-leadership-skills/.
"Finding Friends through a Shared Love of Sports." About Relationships, friendship.about.com/od/Meeting-New-Friends/qt/Making-Friends-Through-Sports.htm. Accessed 4 Oct. 2016.
"How Sports Help Decrease the Risk of Teen Substance Abuse." The She Network, womenssportsfoundation.org/she-network/health/how-sports-help-decrease-the-risk-of-teen-substance-abuse/. Accessed 4 Oct. 2016.
"How to Meet New Friends." Best Health, www.besthealthmag.ca/best-you/wellness/how-to-meet-new-friends/. Accessed 4 Oct. 2016.
"New Study Shows School Sports Improve Grades, All While Districts Wrangle with Cuts." Yahoo Sports, sports.yahoo.com/blogs/prep-rally/study-shows-school-sports-improve-grades-while-more-221934443.html. Accessed 4 Oct. 2016.
New York Times. health.heraldtribune.com/2012/07/20/sports-seen-as-key-weapon-in-fighting-teen-obesity/. Accessed 4 Oct. 2016.
"Overweight and Obesity Statistics." National Institute of Diabetes and Digestive and Kidney Disease, NIDDK, Oct. 2012, www.niddk.nih.gov/health-information/health-statistics/Pages/overweight-obesity-statistics.aspx. Accessed 4 Oct. 2016.
Volkow. "Physical Activity May Prevent Substance Abuse." NHI, 1 Mar. 2001, www.drugabuse.gov/news-events/nida-notes/2011/03/physical-activity-may-prevent-substance-abuse. Accessed 4 Oct. 2016.
"Why Sports Builds Leadership." Lead on Purpose, leadonpurposeblog.com/2013/04/20/why-sports-builds-leadership/. Accessed 4 Oct. 2016.
Irvin. "Why Team Sports Really Do Improve Grades: Link between Self-Esteem and Better Performance in the Classroom." Daily Mail, www.dailymail.co.uk/news/article-2330445/Why-team-sports-really-improve-grades-Link-self-esteem-better-performance-classroom.html. Accessed 4 Oct. 2016.
Bible 6tated that sports allow students to develop a mentoring-relationship with adults and with positive, school-oriented peers (Why Team Sports Really Do 1). This goes to show that students who are surrounded with positive and uplifting students will benefit positively. There is a great chance that a person who is surrounded by school-driven students will be impacted by their peers. Sports will test an athletes’ determination and confidence in and out of the classroom. The same effect goes for someone who is involved in drugs. If a certain individual is involved in doing or