Ask any parent on the sideline of a basketball court or soccer field what benefits their child is receiving from playing sports and a number of the usual perks get tossed around. They learn the importance of teamwork, discipline, and physical exercise, improve their motor skills, and learn the value of striving to reach their goals. These well-known benefits only scrape the surface of the other advantages open to children who participate in youth sports. According to economic research, children who play youth sports will also stay in school longer, earn more money, and be more engaged in their community.
A study of American males who attended high school in the 1970s conducted by economics John M. Barron and Glen R. Waddell of Purdue University and Bradley T. Ewing of Texas Tech University showed that there is a notable difference in both the education levels and the earning potential of athletes versus non-athletes. The study found that high school athletes completed education levels 25 to 35 percent higher than their non-athlete classmates. In addition to higher educational success, student athletes also have higher earning potential later in life. High school athletes had 12 to 31 percent higher wages than their colleagues who were not active in sports.
In order to cover all bases Barron, Waddell and Ewing conducted a number of tests to make sure there was no underlining trait to account for this difference. After analyzing IQ tests and standardized testing scores they concluded that, when you take two children with the same IQ score and intellectual level, if one child was put into a sports program they could expect him/her to do better in the long run than the child who wasn’t involved in athletics. Ewing estimates from the study that, with all things remaining equal, student athletes earn roughly 6 percent more than their non-athlete counterparts, translating into thousands of dollars over the course of their lives. It’s easy to see that youth athletes win overall in the workplace. Year after year this study is constantly being reaffirmed, further proving that youth athletes finish ahead of non-athletes.
Children in sports learn from an early age that hard work and dedication will often determine success, and carry this lesson with them throughout their lives. This mindset gives athletes a competitive advantage over their peers. Emotional attachment to proving themselves, especially in front of their peers, becomes a huge driving force to their success. Later in life this spirit will provide a game-changing advantage in business environments. More and more, employers are looking for athletic participation and accomplishments on resumes during the hiring process.
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Whether it’s on the field, in a gym, or at the ballgame, youth athletes learn that effort and success are correlated. This message is carried with them throughout their lives constantly, giving them the competitive advantage over their non-athlete counterparts. CoachUp matches dedicated coaches with athletes of all ages in order to improve not only their game, but all facets of their lives, through sports.