Youth Programs

A growing body of research literature finds that in addition to improved physical health, sport plays a primarily positive role in youth development, including improved academic achievement, higher self-esteem, fewer behavioral problems, and better psychosocial.  Many studies focus on the effects of sport on the five “C’s”—competence, confidence, connections, character, and caring—which are considered critical components of positive youth development. Young males involved in multiple sports seem to garner even more protection in this regard. Similar results were found for girls.

The positive effects of participation in learning the important life skills of goal setting and time management combined with enjoyment; the development of a strong sense of morality; and the development of an appreciation of diversity.33 Longitudinal studies have shown that children and youth participating in sport, when compared to peers who do not play sport, exhibit:

• higher grades, expectations, and attainment;34

• greater personal confidence and self-esteem;

• greater connections with school— that is, greater attachment and support from adults;

• stronger peer relationships;

• more academically oriented friends;

• greater family attachment and more frequent interactions with parents;

• more restraint in avoiding risky behavior; and

• greater involvement in volunteer work


Data show that high school students who play sport are less likely to drop out. Participation in sport also has been associated with completing more years of education and consistently higher grades in school. Overall, getting your child involved with extra physical activity will defiantly pave path of great health and wellness as they head into their adult years.