benefits of sports

The Benefits of Sports, Part 1

Dear Mr. Dad: You’ve talked a lot about kids and sports. Why are sports so important?

A: Kids these days have it tougher than we did when we were their age. Today’s kids live in a world where social media puts every aspect of their lives under a harsh microscope—something we and our parents and grandparents never experienced. One in three children is now overweight or obese—triple the rate it was for us—and school shootings and other violence committed by children, which was largely unheard of in our day, is startlingly common.

The question of what we can do to, quite literally, save our children (or at least improve their lives) is a popular one. But despite all the debate, one of the most effective solutions to so many of the problems that affect young people these days rarely comes up: sports.

Kids who get involved in sports during middle- and especially high school are better off in a variety of very important ways. Compared to non-athletes, sports-involved kids are less likely to be obese, smoke tobacco, or take drugs, and have better cardiovascular fitness, coordination, and balance. Student athletes also get better grades and are more likely to graduate high school and go on to college; they handle stress better, have better self-esteem, and are less likely to report feeling lonely or anxious or to become teen parents. Sports also teaches kids valuable skills in communication, cooperation, teamwork, goal setting, problem solving, learning to lose, resilience, respect for authority, controlling their emotions, patience, self-sacrifice, and more, says Graham Clark, a retired high-school football coach in Kingsport, Tennessee.

Read the rest of this story on Armin’s blog.

Photo by James Motter on Unsplash

Armin Brott

View posts by Armin Brott
Armin Brott is the proud father of three, a former U.S. Marine, a best-selling author, radio host, speaker, and one of the country’s leading experts on fatherhood. He writes frequently about fatherhood, families, and men's health. Read more about Armin or visit his website, You can also connect via social media: Facebook, Twitter, Pinterest,  and Linkedin.

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