Why All Teens Should Participate in a Sport


G. Brown

Sports can be very beneficial for adolescents because they can create bonds and stay healthy

Kendall Johnson, Staff Reporter

  Every teen in America who is physically able should participate in a sport. Although this idea may seem far fetched to some, sports are a crucial part of a lifestyle teens should have. In America, obesity among adolescents is a huge issue. According to the National Institute of Diabetes and Digestive and Kidney Disease (NIDDK), about one in five adolescents, ages 12-19, were considered obese (2011-2014).  

  While a lot of factors can contribute to obesity, inactivity plays a big role. For this reason, teens across America should make it a priority to exercise more or play a sport. Sports help teens become more active and overall healthy. 71 percent of teens in America attend a public school, and multiple public schools offer a variety of teams for teens to participate in before or after school. Sport teams also provide a safe place for teens, allowing them to form bonds and  make connections.

  While many teens may not realize the value of becoming an athlete, studies show adolescents who participate in sports are 92 percent less likely to get involved with drugs, 80 percent less likely to get pregnant, and three times more likely to graduate than non-athletes. Thus are several positive aspects to becoming an athlete. Different types of sports work for different types of people based on their genders, body types, and skill sets.

  Even teens who may not want to participate in a serious sport or dedicate a lot of time to athletics have various  options. There are recreational teams and teams at the YMCA for beginners that serve as a less costly option. On the other hand, there are travel and club teams for more serious athletes that may be more costly. 

  However, the best and easiest way to get involved in sports is through school. School sports usually provide a place to practice for the athletes and sometimes even uniforms. It also has the convenience of most of the time being directly after school. Sophomore Max DeAngelo, a student-athlete who plays lacrosse and runs track, says, “I think it is important to do high school sports because it allows you to find something new that you like and enjoy doing. It can also open your eyes to new opportunities such as a career in a sport or going to college to do your sport.” He also says, “Personally, it has affected me by allowing me to meet people who seemed different from me, but when I actually got to know them, we had so much in common and who always support me and do as much as possible to help me become the best version of myself.” Junior Daniel Stein, another student athlete who plays football and runs track, says he enjoys playing a sport because “it helps me be in a group of people who have the same interest as me as well as helping me to get in shape and do what I love.”

 Sports can also provide new opportunities for teens and could provide a way for teens to make it through college and get partial or full scholarships. While playing a sport may not be the most important aspect of a teen’s life, it can be used as an outlet for teens who may be struggling with mental health, friendships, or health issues. Sports also teach good life lessons and teamwork.