Advantages and disadvantages of sports at schools

Written by dave stanley
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Advantages and disadvantages of sports at schools
Sports in school is a good thing so long as they don't take precedence over academics. (BananaStock/BananaStock/Getty Images)

Having sports at school is for the most part viewed as a good thing, because it gives youths opportunities to learn teamwork, get fit and do something constructive with their spare time. There are drawbacks, however. Sometimes sports at schools can either directly or indirectly affect behaviour and grades in a bad way.

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Physical Fitness

Getting in shape is never a bad thing, but it is even more important these days because of a well-documented rise in childhood obesity. The good thing about sports at schools is that children can do something fun as they get in shape, as opposed to adopting a rigorous, high-pressure exercise regimen. Even if gruelling exercise is required for the sport the student-athlete plays, it will be a means to an end in that she's doing it to get better at the sport she enjoys.

Poor Academic Performance

If sports at schools become too much of a focus, then getting good grades can take a back seat. All too often star athletes study just enough to earn their eligibility as opposed to studying to learn or prepare for a career. Also, in worst-case scenarios, teachers may grade athletes easier to keep them playing. Sports at schools is an overall good thing, but not when the sports take precedence over education.

Friendships

Sports give youths the opportunity to get out and make friends. Even if the relationships are awkward or tense at first, over time friendships will be forged thanks to the principles of teamwork and everyone working together for a common goal. The development of these social skills will bode well for the child throughout life in both personal and professional endeavours.

Risk Behavior

According to Dr. Susan M. Connor of the Injury Prevention Center at the Rainbow Babies & Children's Hospital in Cleveland, Ohio, youths who play sports are less likely to engage in risk behaviour such as smoking, but they are in fact more apt to try other deviant things such as binge drinking and fighting. Granted, these are just tendencies --- not every school athlete is a beer-drinking antagonist --- but those who play sports are at higher risk for doing so.

Injuries

All sports pose a risk for injury, although some are more serious than others. A long term study conducted by Frederick O. Mueller of the department of exercise and sport science at the University of North Carolina revealed that football is the most dangerous sport in terms of major, life-altering injuries. Concussions are common in the sport, as many players will keep quiet about their symptoms and keep playing for fear of not appearing tough. Given the detrimental, cumulative nature of concussions, the rest of their lives could be adversely affected.

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