Youth sports are great ways for young athletes to get active. However, they have a number of additional benefits that make them valuable ways for participants to spend their time.
According to experts, female high school athletes are 92 percent less likely to take drugs and 80 percent less likely to become pregnant if they play sports. Additionally, they are three times more likely to graduate from high school than non-athletes. Furthermore, girls who are active in sports in their adolescence and young adulthood are 20 percent less likely to get breast cancer later in life.
Youth sports are also important for later life because they can teach valuable skills. Experts say that participating in youth sports teaches teamwork, social skills, healthy habits, self discipline, sportsmanship and listening, all of which are of key importance as one grows into adulthood. Experts also say that participating in youth sports builds self-esteem and confidence, and can have positive social effects on athletes. This is evidenced by the fact that 95 percent of Fortune 500 executives participated in high school athletics.
Furthermore, experts say that young athletes who play sports are more likely to have higher grades on national tests, perform well in school, graduate from high school, go to college, become and remain employed, become directors and managers, become business managers and leaders and participate in social and charitable programs.
Conversely, experts have found that those who don’t participate in youth sports are more likely to break the law or go to prison, join a gang, abuse alcohol or drugs, become pregnant, skip class, have discipline problems at school, drop out of school and become welfare recipients.
The benefits listed, as well as the negatives, make it clear that young athletes playing youth sports is a valuable pastime. As such, it is of key importance that parents encourage their children to join the 35 million other young athletes who play organized youth sports each year. The consequences of disregarding this advice could be catastrophic, as the experts clearly show in their findings. Youth sports are an investment in a child’s future. Be sure to use this investment to the fullest.
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