The move to high school is a milestone in every child’s life. When a student-athlete is making the transition from middle to high school, she knows she is moving into the big girl level of play. Here are 9 benefits of high school sports to encourage a hesitant athlete to pursue a team sport at the high school level when she might not be sure she is good enough.
Nine Benefits of high school sports to encourage a hesitant female athlete to pursue a team sport in high school.
Why is high school such a big deal? Well, high school can feel like a transition period that marks the move into young adulthood. It is both exhilarating and terrifying for most kids.
Girls are playing with athletes that are older, bigger, and more skilled.
They have so many questions secretly plaguing their minds. Will they make friends? Will they be a social outcast? Will studies be overwhelming? Can I handle all this and the demands of sports life?
Will I ever make the varsity team? Will I be cut? Can I at least make the freshman team and work my way up?
Here are 9 great benefits of high school sports for girls, that will make playing on a team worth the effort.
1. High school sports help girls develop new or different friendships.
There is something about being on a sports team together that builds incredible bonds. Bonds that transcend the field, court, track, etc., and extend to the classroom, halls, cafeteria, and beyond school. You get the idea.
When girls bond as teammates, it means new friendships that can extend beyond the sport. And when done right, it can mean a lifetime of friendship.
2. Female athletes can become part of a team/family straight out of the gate
When girls participate in fall sports it can mean becoming part of a team and therefore a family straight out of the gate in high school.
In fact, some fall sports have summer camps and tryouts before the school year starts so she can develop those bonds before she sets a single foot into a classroom. That is incredibly reassuring for girls to have a sense of belonging from the start of their high school experience.
Not to mention that now, she will know upperclassmen and that can be a huge help for her down the line. Good upperclassmen lookout for freshmen on their teams to make sure they are doing alright and making a smooth transition to the school and the team.
3. Being part of a team builds confidence for high school girls
Being on a team builds confidence. Confidence in trying something hard, achieving small wins, surviving painful losses and celebrating huge victories.
There really is nothing like sports for developing character in young women.
This is where they learn how to handle defeats and disappointments. And it’s also where they learn how to set goals and to persevere and push through to achieve a greater purpose.
These experiences develop their self-confidence in ways few other experiences can.
4. Sports build camaraderie among girls
When a team wins, the sense of pride and accomplishment can infuse players with a sense of camaraderie. That same sense of camaraderie can be used to console each other through defeat as well.
It is all-important to character development. But the loyalty players can have for each other is evident in team sports.
They have fun together, they joke around, they push each other to be better, and they console each other when disappointments arise.
High school is not always a safe place for female friendships and interactions. Sports can be a safer place to build trust and friendships among the girls.
5. Sports can improve focus and health
Team sports help to improve focus in children that can sometimes lack drive or direction.
All of a sudden children can move from lacking goals and focus to having a newfound purpose. Athletes who enjoy their sport need to concentrate, listen, learn, improve their skills and connect to the game.
These skills can translate to their academic world which is an added bonus.
The benefits to the overall health of participating in high school sports are improved stamina, endurance, strength, speed, and coordination. These are benefits not only to her physical health but also can be considered reasons for her improved confidence as well.
6. Sports gives them something to look forward to after school
Okay, let’s get to the real deal about high school. Some days are going to suck, period. Whether she bombed a quiz, forgot her homework, or a rude individual crossed her path, some days are going to be tougher than others to get through. Having practice or a game after school can be something to look forward to.
Most girls I know that do sports enjoy having something to look forward to after school. It can also serve as an excuse to release themselves from a situation they are not interested in, “sorry, I have practice after school.”
7. Sports increases a girl’s sense of independence
Nothing increases independence in a girl than participating in high school sports.
All of a sudden she has direct communication with her coach for updates in practice schedules, game changes, and expectations. AND, she will need to grow up and begin communicating those changes to her parents to keep them in the loop.
This is one of the biggest changes/differences in high school sports for both players and their parents.
She will most definitely need a means of communicating with parents, coaches, and teammates. A smartphone that shows her location will be most helpful to parents wondering where she is at any given time.
Especially when it’s time to pick her up from school after an away game, and you want a sense of how close to the school her bus is.
She needs to be 100% responsible for her gear and equipment necessary to participate in practice and games because they usually occur directly afterschool.
If for some reason she cannot attend a practice or a game, she needs to communicate that to her coach, so it better be a dang good reason. “I don’t feel like it today” usually will not fly.
All these things help her become more responsible and independent.
8. Team Sports gives girls a sense of accomplishment and pride
When an athlete tries her best at something, and gets favorable results, like the improvement of her skills over a season. Or when she can look back on funny memories with her teammates from the season, it can increase her sense of accomplishment and pride.
And a winning season is a great source of pride for female athletes. When she realizes that her participation in that team is part of the reason for their collective accomplishments, that is huge!
Plus, her schoolmates recognize that as well.
9. Participation in high school sports encourages both team and school spirit
When a girl plays for a school team she can’t help but want to rally for all the other competitive endeavors taken on by students of her high school as well. We all have seen this effect in action.
Whether she is rallying for her school’s football team to win or the math team, now she is invested in the rep of her school being protected. She wants all her classmates to perform at their best. This increases overall school spirit and raising up the performance of every student in all their unique endeavors for the school.
Positive school spirit and pride is critical to kids feeling good about where they are from, their backgrounds, their town, their upbringing, and will carry them forward for all of their future endeavors.
Here is a recap of the 9 Benefits of High School Sports for Girls
- 1. Helps develop new or different friends
- 2. Become part of a team/family straight out of the gate
- 3. Builds confidence
- 4. Builds camaraderie
- 5. Improves focus
- 6. Gives them something to look forward to afterschool
- 7. Increases independence
- 8. Gives them a sense of accomplishment and pride
- 9. Encourages team and school spirit
I hope these reasons and more are enough to encourage freshmen, sophomore and upperclassmen girls to give team sports a try.
If you are looking for a good list of popular Fall Sports check out this post: Top 10 Fall Sports High School Girls Play. Also, check out Advice for Girls Preparing for High School Sports Life
Cheering all the girls on to a great high school athletic career!
Chandra is the chocolate-chip loving mother of 2 teenage girls who started over again with a baby boy in her 40’s! She is the author of The Mom’s Playbook to Conquering Softball Season. She gives other moms the tools they need to prepare their daughters for real life. Her content is centered on helping girls grow up to be well-rounded, equipped, expressive, confident, intelligent, capable, kind and independent.