As parents we may hesitate for our children to participate in sports for many reasons, but a primary concern for all of us is how it may affect their grades.
In the past I have had the opportunity to coach many athletes. Through the years I have heard the tension in a parent’s voice as they ask, "Will sports affect my child's grades?"
I remember a more recent story of an athlete coming in from another culture. Her parents were very much pressed on keeping the activities at a minimum in hopes that their child would be able to maintain balance in her life.
Her parents struggled with the decision in allowing her to participate in a sport, but through prayer and guidance decided to allow her this opportunity. In actuality, what was their worst fear had a result of the opposite.
Were their child’s grades affected? Yes, but for the positive as she ended the semester with a 4.12 GPA.
Although the parents were fearful of sports negatively affecting the grades of their child, sports did just the opposite.
Research also confirms that involvement in a sport gives students higher success in school. The Academic Departments of the University of South Carolina and Pennsylvania State University studied data from 9,700 high school students aged 14-18 and concluded,
"Team sport is significantly related to higher grade-point averages and a higher likelihood of completing high school and enrolling in college."
I want to share three ways participating in sports can positively affect your child’s grades.
1. Built in accountability
Coaches have an expectation for their athletes to do well in school. Coaches can monitor this through a weekly report from the teachers in regards to their students' grades and their attitude in the classroom. As your child participates in a sport, the coach is on top of their athletic and academic performance. This built in accountability comes from the expectations of the coach, the teachers and the school.
2. Built in discipline
If your children have a desire to participate in sports, they learn quickly that if they are going to make the team and be an asset to the team, it will take discipline. This discipline is developed through strenuous practices and responding to adversity. As they learn this discipline on the field, they are more likely to see this discipline carry over to the classroom. Developing discipline and persevering through difficult tasks help student athletes to achieve greater success in the classroom as well on the sports team.
3. Being a part
We all want to fit in. Even as adults, we long to be a part of a community. When we are a part of a community, we become more confident in who we are. You see it all the time. That is why many students listen to the music they do, wear certain clothes, and like certain foods. Being a part of the sports team allows this to naturally happen. They feel they belong to something and they have a greater purpose in life.
When a child is part of the team, there is a great impact upon their life that goes way beyond the classroom.
Have you seen your child's grades improve through being a part of a sports team?
Please share in the comments.