The Acclaimed World of Sports: How Can Athletics Benefit Your Teen?

Apex teen has learned may life lessons from sports
Photo courtesy of Monkey Business Images/

Since this is my first Teen Scene blog, I'd like to make my mission clear. I would like to help those of you reading these posts learn more about what may be helpful for your child, and also give you a teen's perspective on issues we face every day. Of course you will also learn a little about me through these entries and, hopefully, I don’t look too horrible in your mind’s eye.

Something near and dear to my heart is the lovely world of sports. As a teen, sports have become a huge part of my life and I believe have helped shape me into the person I am today. Sports are so helpful for a number of reasons. They are fun (for most people), teach priceless virtues, and are a good way to get your teen moving and exercising. I’ve seen sports at any level teach teamwork, patience, compassion and social skills, which are all needed to succeed later in life.

I cannot count how many times a coach has given me a little piece of knowledge that immediately clicked in my mind, and changed how I was at school or my house the next day. Knowledge and values like that follow you once you leave the field or court, and from what I can tell from coaches and other adults I know, they never quite leave. This same idea holds true for sports at any level. You don’t have to be the next Tom Brady to go out and throw the football — just going out there to play is what’s really important. This is why I love the recreational sports programs we have available now, because anyone can go out there and play and just have fun and learn while doing it. If a teen comes into a sport with an open mind and a willingness to let go of failures, in my mind, there is nothing that can teach more lessons.

Also, I don’t know about other teens like me, but waking up early in the morning and running on the treadmill for exercise isn’t a very easy thing to do. Playing a sport is an automatic motivator and while you’re playing the game you sometimes forget you’re even exercising. Having a goal to go after can help push teens further than they might go while exercising on their own and, in turn, help keep them healthy. 

Of course I understand that not every teen wants to go out there and play a sport simply because that doesn't fit their personality or abilities, and every kid is different. But I really think that it is the easiest and most fun way to get exercise, while also helping the teen involved grow as a person. Now that is a full package I would definitely invest in.

Alex Baker is a senior at Apex High School. He plays basketball and lacrosse, and is also a member of the school's Academy of Information Technology.


Categories: Teen Scene, Teens