Go Team Unstoppable
The excitement of the crowd. The rush to the concession stands before the game starts. The nerves of the players. A whistle is blown that signifies the start of the game.
What’s with all the hype about sports? Why do so many athletes stick with it past high school, college, and beyond? There are so many benefits to playing sports, we’ve listed the biggest ones below.
Better Physical Health
Playing sports is a great source of regular exercise. From basketball to swimming, you’ll be burning calories and might not even know it. Exercising is great for your heart as well as your overall health.
Better Mental Health
Playing sports is not only good for your physical health, but for your mental health as well. By exercising regularly, your mental health is likely to improve due to the close connections between physical and mental health. Playing sports can be a huge stress reliever and improve mental health.
Young people who play sports also have educational benefits as well. According to Missouri University Health, “Sports require memorization, repetition, and learning — skills that are directly relevant to classwork”. Those who play sports in middle school and high school are more likely to go to college, as well as overall be more successful in school.
Some additional benefits that sports provide include learning stronger teamwork, problem-solving, and communication skills which are important. You can also build connections and friendships through sports.
So there are lots of benefits… now what?
You might be wondering how you can get involved with sports. The best place to start is your school. See what sports your school has to offer and decided if you have an interest in them. If the sports options are limited at your school, perhaps try a park district or community center. Below are some links to the programming offered through our local park districts.
Normal Park District:
Bloomington Park District:
Program Guide for Winter/Spring 2022 Bloomington Park District
If organized sports are not available, perhaps try to organize something at a park. Ultimate Frisbee is a good option that requires very minimal equipment. Local parks might have basketball courts, tennis courts, soccer fields, or a swimming pool. Miller Park in Bloomington, IL has paths for walking/running, a softball diamond, a football field, and more. Another large local park is Anderson Park in Normal, IL which has swimming pools, batting cages, tennis courts, basketball, and more. Take advantage of facilities like these to practice and take control of improving your health.
This article was developed by Sarah Nuscher, Intern from Illinois State University.