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Sports for Life


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teen sportsWe've all known a one-time high school quarterback who, now overweight and sometimes a little beery, loves to recount his winning plays. We’ve seen the middle-aged weekend athletic warrior who pulls something that really hurts in his zeal to recapture his adolescent basketball, soccer, or softball glory. And we’ve watched the erstwhile cheerleader, now a mom of four, who tries to do a split or a back handspring, with disastrous results.

While these examples may veer into caricature, they also illustrate a point: The sports kids play as teens can translate into a lifelong love affair with a particular game or activity. And the lessons teens learn while playing a sport will stand them in good stead, regardless of their age.

Accentuate the Positive

It’s estimated that roughly 65 percent of American children and adolescents participate in organized sports, says Greg Bach, the vice president of communications for the National Alliance for Youth Sports. And studies have shown that these kids feel better than their sedentary peers both mentally and physically. They weigh less, sleep better, and lower their risk of developing type 2 diabetes.

What are the mental and emotional advantages?—>

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