It’s a myth that to achieve academic success, you must focus only on your studies all the time. Studies have consistently shown us that physically active individuals stay healthier and perform exceptionally well on tests of intellectual ability.
Research says that the more you exercise, the more proficient your mental faculties are.
Not only that, student-athletes demonstrate a higher degree of organisation – required to accomplish various milestones and achievements in school and the field. This helps them be highly successful in both academics and sports.
So, what are some of the skills that can be acquired by participating in sports that can help students in their academics? Here are our top 5 picks:
“I hate living with regret. I believe in discipline and routines. I believe in hard work because even if I don’t reach my goal, I can look at myself in the mirror and say I gave it my all.” – Rani Rampal
Discipline is all about saying no to instant gratification consistently to succeed. This can mean waking up early and not hitting the snooze button. It could mean eating healthy meals and staying away from processed foods. It means sleeping early instead of binge-watching television well after midnight.
In sports, you have a goal to achieve. You must practise and work hard to be the best in the game. This translates into sacrificing sleep on a chilly morning to go for a run or to the gym. Similar sacrifices are required when it comes to achieving your academic goals. To get an ‘A’, one must study hard, understand the concepts, and practise problems.
This requires discipline. Some studies connect the tendency to put off tasks with low-self discipline. Most students tend to put off unpleasant tasks in favour of short-term joys. The skill of delaying gratification is critical to cultivating self-discipline. When students participate in sports, discipline is crucial to achieving milestones. The same skill comes in handy while preparing for exams – whether for school or competitive exams.
“The hardships I faced in my formative years are the foundation of my strength.” – MC Mary Kom
Perseverance is the art of finishing something despite difficulties or hurdles. Every student-athlete must persevere through challenges such as building strength, setbacks or even managing their time. Sports require the participants to understand the rules of the game, come to terms with losses, and still continue to give 100% to the game to be the best player they can become. Therefore, perseverance can be termed a collective set of skills that students must develop in order to succeed in academics or other activities.
Perseverance includes the ability to manage your time, the skill of bouncing back from failures, and facing your fears come what may. The end goal is to overcome the challenges and excel on the field. Students who participate in sports are well-versed in the skill of perseverance. As a result, they will be equipped to apply the same concept to academics. Building the mindset of perseverance helps students achieve their academic goals despite making mistakes. It teaches students to accept losses and work harder.
“For me, it’s important to build good partnerships rather than score centuries. Once, you have those partnerships, you will also get centuries.” – M S Dhoni
Most sports teach teamwork to the participants. It is important to build the ability to collaborate with others and work together. This helps individuals achieve their milestones in a less stressful way. Cultivating teamwork means learning the ability to communicate effectively. It is also the ability to learn from your peers. Additionally, it teaches students to take responsibility and play for a team. These skills are extremely important in academics as well. After all, our friends and peers can teach us so much in class — from concepts before the test to tricks for solving problems. Learning and teaching each other makes us all better. And because academics is rife with competition and challenges, being able to learn from peers can help students improve their grades too.
“I want to be the best, it’s not about the ranking, it’s about being consistent.” – Saina Nehwal
When we talk about confidence, they say fake it till you make it. However, this may not be the most effective way to build the skill. Confidence comes when one works hard, despite hurdles, and outside the comfort zone. Participating in sports such as hockey, rugby, basketball, etc. can teach students confidence. These games are not just fun but they encourage a mindset towards practice and improvement. This, in turn, makes athletes confident in their abilities.
Similarly, this confidence can help students do well in academics. Especially, when they have worked towards learning and assessed their performance by testing themselves. Additionally, when students find that they have accomplished something, this boosts their self-esteem and this can also translate into their academic success by enabling them to set higher goals for themselves.
“You need to spend a lot of time working on your skills and honing your skills.” – Rahul Dravid
Sports, such as cricket, teach us patience and the willingness to give others a chance. It also teaches us the skill of observing other players and learning from their game. It also teaches consistency over a while. These lessons are essential; they make achievers in academics. Learning happens through observation. One ought to be patient in the face of setbacks. And success, by no means, happens overnight. It requires patience. For instance, students must study for months to prepare thoroughly for D-day to ace board exams or competitive exams. This also means making mistakes and learning from them consistently. Not only that, but it is also about regularly putting the effort to work hard for long periods.
In addition to the skills mentioned above, sports also aid academics through various health benefits. With exercise, students feel energised and have better brain function. This helps them focus better on their studies, whether at school or at home. Suffice it to say that playing sports positively affects students and their studies – be it through better moods or skills.
Sara started her professional journey in a newsroom and quickly realised that words and stories are her happy place. You may have noticed that she adores her alliteration. She’s also an ailurophile who needs her fix of cute kitty reels to unwind. A warm cup of coffee, chocolates with hazelnut, and a Netflix binge on a cosy chair are all she needs in life. Trees and beaches make her very happy too.
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