We all know that high school is one of the most pivotal times in a person’s life. However, some people don’t know that playing sports during school can have a lasting positive impact on your life. It’s true; there are studies. Here are the top four benefits of athletics that will change your life.

Build Character

Winning isn’t everything, but it can certainly help build character. On one hand, participating in sporting activities can do wonders in the way of helping to increase one’s self-confidence by providing immediate results for hard work, dedication, and perseverance. On the other hand, it also teaches athletes how to handle loss with grace. Students will also learn about respect for authority (including the coaching staff and other adults), their teammates, and their opponents, all of which lead to the development of an emotionally competent individual.

Improve Academic Performance

Most parents will find this of particular interest: athletics have been shown to help students improve their academic performance. By playing sports, students develop a positive identity, emotional maturity, and better focus, which then translate to abilities in the classroom. As a result, their overall academic performance is positively impacted, leading to better grades. Best of all, this is true regardless of whether the student participates in individual or team sports.

Build Stronger Relationships

Another thing most people don’t realize about participating in athletics is that it tends to help students build stronger relationships with both their peers and their parents. As students who play sports engage in activities that encourage frequent interaction, cooperation, and trust, they learn to develop crucial relationship skills. Similarly, as parents become more involved as a support system for their child, the bond between the two is strengthened, and the student develops a deeper attachment.

Develop a Sense of Community

There is nothing like team spirit. As it turns out, the sense of team spirit developed among students who participate in athletics tends to give rise to a sense of community that lasts a lifetime. As a result, while personal achievement is still important, the students also begin to act in the best interest of the team and the school or community that they represent. No more “every man for himself” – there is a greater good to be served.

Long after one has left high school behind, the lasting impacts can reverberate for a lifetime. This is particularly true for those students who play sports. Specifically, participating in athletics can build character, improve academic performance, build stronger relationships, and develop a sense of community, all of which contribute to an emotionally grounded and productive individual in the long run.