Learn about the benefits of female participation in physical education to improve your health and mental well-being. Plus, find out how St. Agnes helps young ladies become involved in sports.
Throughout your time in school, you’ve likely taken physical education classes
, and you might have been encouraged to take an interest in sports. Physical activity isn’t just for fun, however. Female participation in physical education offers a range of benefits to help young ladies grow their whole person.
Aside from the many health benefits, sports and regular physical activity help boost your mood, build friendships, and increase your future success in high school, college, and when you start a career. Let’s take a look at why we encourage students at St. Agnes to be physically active.
7 Benefits of Participating in Physical Education
1. Increases Physical Fitness
- Healthy heart. One of the most apparent benefits of youth sports is growth in physical fitness and personal well-being. For example, studies have shown that students who engage in regular exercise have healthier hearts because it increases circulation
- Healthy habits. Sports and other forms of physical exercise can help you build healthy habits that will pay off in your adult life. You’ll have a solid foundation for making good fitness and exercise choices in the future.
- Healthy body. Exercise can also increase flexibility and improve balance. Sports often require coordination and precise movements, so they help to fine-tune motor skills and eye-hand coordination. Reflexes and reaction times are usually faster and sharper in students who play sports. Better motor skills can enhance your performance in your chosen sport, and they can help with skills such as playing a musical instrument, dancing, or even handwriting.
- Healthy growth. Exercise and sports can also aid in physical development. Many impact exercises, such as running or jumping, create stronger bones and muscles. Developing stronger muscles while playing sports can help to reduce the risk of joint injuries.
2. Helps to Create Friendships
If you’re entering a new school, moving into a new grade, or starting classes with students you haven’t met yet, it can sometimes be intimidating to meet new people and form friendships. Participation in a sport can help.
- Develop connections. Girls who participate in sports will find that they already have something in common with their teammates. The close-knit feeling of a sports club – whether a team sport like field hockey or an individual sport such as swimming or diving – helps students bond quickly. The shared experience of learning and practicing a sport together can create lasting friendships that often last well beyond high school.
- Develop community. Sports create an atmosphere of camaraderie and school spirit. Students who participate in sports develop a sense of fairness and sportsmanship, and group sports urge students to support each other, even when they’re not on the same team. You can also carry these bonding skills into college and draw on shared interests to connect with new people.
3. Encourages Students to Work as a Team
In addition to building lasting friendships on and off the court or field, girls playing sports learn valuable lessons about how to be exceptional teammates. Sports, even individual sports such as cross country, instill cooperative values and teach students how to care for others.
- Develop empathy. On a sports team, you’ll learn how to support and encourage other players while doing what’s best for the group or the game. Students often learn how to communicate better, compromise, give or take positive and negative feedback, and work together.
- Develop leadership skills. Many students also develop exceptional leadership skills while playing sports. These skills are a fantastic tool for sports, but they can also be applied to many other life areas, such as school clubs, family dynamics, and future careers.
Plus, athletic pursuits are a fantastic addition to a college application. Participation in sports shows colleges and universities that you know how to work and communicate well with others, especially in high-pressure situations.
4. Enhances Concentration and Focus
- Become more focused. Scientific studies regarding women's sports show that students who participate in regular physical exercise have an increased ability to focus
. Students who play sports are often better able to concentrate in class, and the effects of physical exercise on the brain can help you study more effectively, which leads to better grades and test scores.
- Gain energy. Students who engage in sports also tend to have more energy. Paired with increased focus, students can apply that energy to schoolwork, clubs, friendships, or chores at home.
5. Offers Sleep Benefits
- The value of rest. Students who physically exert themselves through exercise or sports are often able to sleep better. The focus, strategy, and physical exertion required for sports will help prepare the body and mind to rest.
A good night’s sleep can lead to enhanced critical thinking skills and alertness, which helps students pay attention in class and study more effectively. You’re also less likely to make small mistakes if you’re well-rested.
6. Decreases Stress
- Reduce anxiety. High school can be equal parts exciting and stressful. Thinking about grades, friendships, after-school jobs, and your future is exhilarating, but it can also be overwhelming or create a sense of anxiety. Physical activities are a fantastic way to relieve stress and reduce anxiety. Exercise reduces stress in several ways:
When exercising, you can work away some anxiety by exerting yourself physically.
As you exercise, you’re also inhaling more, which means taking in more oxygen and sending it to the brain. When the brain receives more oxygen, it naturally relaxes.
Many sports take place outside, and fresh air and sunshine are both excellent mood boosters.
When you perform well at your sport, it can provide a sense of accomplishment.
7. Boosts Confidence and Instills Self-Discipline
Performing well in a sport, whether you win a competition or game or simply achieve a feat you’ve been working toward, is a fantastic way to boost self-confidence.
- Improve discipline. Sports require strong self-discipline. Even with a great coach, students must rely on their own determination, focus, and drive to play at their best. When that self-discipline pays off in the form of achievements, students are given an immediate example of why hard work, dedication, and passion are crucial.
This discipline, strong work ethic, and surge in confidence can be applied to many areas of life, including schoolwork, friendships, and careers. Students who participate in high school sports carry those values and learned skills with them throughout the rest of their lives.
Find an Avenue for Female Participation in Physical Education
At St. Agnes Academy, we believe in the importance of female participation in physical education. Our Tiger Athletics teams
offer 13 sports across three seasons. Our sports teams include more than 500 students; over the years, we’ve earned 110 state titles.
On a St. Agnes team, students will learn how to be a teammate, create lifelong friendships, receive coaching from experienced, dedicated teachers, and enjoy a wide range of sports options to find out which sport suits them best.
Contact a coach today to learn more about our diverse sports and fitness programs for young women. We are eager to see you grow through physical activities.