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When you consider the advantages of athletics and team sports, the chances are your first thoughts will have to do with the physical benefits of regular fitness. While it’s true that regular activity is essential in maintaining a healthy lifestyle, research has also shown that participating in exercise and sports may help enhance the mind alongside the body.

A significant body of research has found that in addition to the obvious — improved physical health — sports play a positive role in supporting youth development, leading to improved academic achievement, fewer behavioral problems, better psychosocial health, and more. In fact, almost every study reveals benefits in competence, character, confidence, and other critical components of positive development. Because of this, it’s clear that the various facets of playing sports, from the discipline of training to the balance provided by teamwork, could provide lifelong skills for athletes.

Following are just some of the assets that young men can access through regular physical activity and team sports.

Improved Academic Performance

Studies frequently demonstrate the positive impact that playing sport can have on academic achievement. Largely, this is because of the positive influence that fitness can have on emotional development. Research conducted by the Canadian Fitness and Lifestyle Research Institute suggests that physical exercise leads to short-term relaxation throughout the body, accompanied by enhanced creativity, improved mood, better memory, and concentration, and even maximized problem-solving skills. These collection of psychological benefits consequently result in higher grades.

In regards to academic performance, Cadets who play sports are more likely to go to college, graduate with higher grades, achieve better positions in their careers, and contribute successfully to society.

Less Stress and Better Moods

For a burst of relaxation and happiness, few things are more effective than exercise. Physical activity stimulates chemicals in the brain that help people to feel happier and more relaxed. Combine those results with the emotional responses that come from team sports and you have a comprehensive experience that allows young men to unwind and engage in satisfying challenges at the same time. Being physically active in sports provides a distraction from daily stressors and negative thought patterns. At the same time, exercise reduces the levels of cortisol and adrenaline in your body, stimulating the production of endorphins so you feel happier and less anxious.

Learn Important Values

Team sports support social interaction and encourage individuals to think with a team perspective. Playing a sport as part of a team requires persistence, patience, and practice — all of which can translate into important life lessons.

What’s more, working with other team members teaches accountability, forcing young men to take responsibility for their own mistakes. This is an important lesson to learn in life, as being able to accept failure and learn from it is one of the most crucial steps toward success.

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Achieve More from Life

Research into careers and the people who achieve greater success in their chosen occupation have found that 95% individuals at the level of executive vice president in 75 Fortune 500 companies played sports during their school years. What’s more, the National Longitudinal Survey of Youth found that 32-year-old men who played sports in school were paid wages 31% higher than those who hadn’t played sports.

Though it’s impossible to guarantee that sports generates higher incomes for students, it is possible to suggest that the development of hard work, discipline, determination, and leadership skills can help students to achieve more from life. Sports are a fantastic way to teach Cadets that hard work pays off, and playing as a team requires training and dedication — important talents to learn for any future career.

Playing Sports Promotes Positive Development

It’s clear that the hard work and determination that goes into learning and playing a team sport teaches young adults the value of crucial concepts such as cooperation, socialization, and leadership. In a sports scenario, Cadets can simply put their differences aside and cooperate for the greater good of the team.

At the same time, the act of playing sports as a team encourages socialization, helping students to form deeper bonds with their peers over a shared passion.