The importance of sports in the life of a young student is invaluable and goes much further than the basic answer that "it keeps kids off the streets." It does in fact keep kids off the streets, but it also instils lessons that are essential in the life of a student athlete. Sports play a pivotal role in the makeup of a young athlete, especially in the middle school to high school years where student athletes are much more mature and mentally developed. Where else can a young, impressionable youth learn values like discipline, responsibility, self confidence, sacrifice, and accountability? Television, which may be the most influential tool in the lives of young adults, does not show enough of these qualities, nor is it on the Internet, or radio. Rather it is up to the parents, teachers, sports teams, clubs, and after school programs to help mold, develop, and instil these qualities into the lives of student athletes. Sports are revered around the world as activities that bring people and nations together. They inspire, give hope, teach determination and demonstrate that the underdog can win.
Sport and physical education is fundamental to the early development of children and youth and the skills learned during play, physical education and sport contribute to the holistic development of young people. Through participation in sport and physical education, young people learn about the importance of key values such as: honesty, teamwork, fair play, respect for themselves and others, and adherence to rules. It also provides a forum for young people to learn how to deal with competition and how to cope with both winning and losing. These learning aspects highlight the impact of physical education and sport on a child’s social and moral development in addition to physical skills and abilities.
In terms of physical and health aspects of child and youth development, there is an overwhelming amount of evidence that focuses on the (mostly positive) effects of sport...
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