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Year round sports for students

Should your student participate in year-round sports?

  The incredible responsibility of raising children is a complex, rewarding, at times frustrating, and amazing endeavor. Though many have tried to write manuals on child rearing, no book provides all the answers. One thing is a given though, we want the best for our children. One way we can ensure they have the best shot at the “best” is to keep them active, all year round.   Year-round participation in sports offers a plethora of benefits to our children ranging from physical and mental health benefits to positive cognitive and social growth and development. And, studies show that students who play different sports throughout the year, as opposed to playing just one all year round, gain even greater advantages than “specializing” in one sport.  

Physical Health Benefits

The physical health benefits are obvious. Sports help build and maintain healthy bones, muscles, and joints, help control weight and reduce fat, and prevent or delay the development of high blood pressure. Regular exercise is beneficial to all. For our youth, it is especially important in that it promotes, encourages, and reinforces a sense of self-care, that is, doing things that are in our best interests. Adolescents who play sports are eight times more likely to be active in their 20s than those who do not.  

Cognitive Health Benefits

A healthy brain is one that can process all the mental processes that are collectively known as cognition. Language, judgment, intuition, the ability to learn new things, and memory recall are all features of cognition. Organized sports help children develop and improve cognitive skills, enhance concentration and attention, and improve classroom behavior. Active students show greater improved academic achievement, including grades, and standardized test scores. Further, high school athletes are more likely than non-athletes to attend college and earn degrees.  

Mental Health Benefits

Adolescence is a trying time; the brain and the body go a bit haywire as mental and physical change takes place as a child grows. Sports can positively affect the personal growth and development of youth. Improved self-esteem and self-image, and more effective goal-setting and leadership abilities, are associated with participation in sports. Active students also experience less depressive episodes and suicidal ideation as they move into and through their teenage years than those are not active.  

Social Benefits

The ability to interact with the world around us is, in large part, a learned activity. Participating in sports at a young age exposes children to situations, scenarios, and environments that they otherwise would not be exposed to, and, thus, teaches and fosters the traits of effective interpersonal relationships through the promotion of practical communication skills. Studies also show that adolescents that actively participate in organized sports are less likely to use drugs or alcohol, or engage in risky sexual behavior.  

Single vs Multi-Sport Participation

While year-round participation in sports is of great benefit to our youth, recent studies indicate that multi-sport participation offers additional advantages that are not gained for those that specialize in just one sport. Multi-sport athletes dramatically decrease the chance for injury over single sport athletes. Additionally, students who play more than one sport are less apt to quit playing. A related result to these studies determined that there is no solid evidence that specializing in one sport at a young age offers greater advantage in that sport.   In our efforts to provide our children with the best to prepare them for independence, it is clear that year-round participation in sports offers them multiple advantages that will benefit them physically, mentally, and socially.
Test Tom Brady vs Peyton Manning   This blog title alone sparks controversy, causes passions to rise, and, to some, may even be seen as a “no brainer”. But, in all fairness, the choice is clear – the answer is Manning. Well, we are a Colorado-based company, and we have worked with Manning for many years in regards to the Manning Passing Academy and the Manning Football Experience. We know first hand what a great guy he is! Seriously though, can these two athletes really be compared? First off, one already hung up his cleats. And, second, the other is married to a super model. Alright, we’ll exclude these minor factors. These two men are undoubtedly iconic, Hall of Fame-destined quarterbacks with unquestionable skill, motivation, and leadership ability. Recently on ESPN’s Monday Night Countdown, Hall of Fame QB Jim Kelly proclaimed, “Tom Brady is the greatest quarterback of all time.” Many agree with this statement. If we look at pure numbers as the determining factors, another story is told. If we look at just Super Bowl wins, clearly Brady takes it, with four wins to Manning’s two – and Brady’s still out there charging for more as he approaches middle age. There are a lot of different answers fans can give to support their reasoning. For fun, let’s look at some numbers. As they are practically the same size and age, let’s pull stats from the seasons they both played (2000 through 2015). We’ll look at total touchdowns, completions, yards, and interceptions as determining factors for who is the better quarterback. Statistics for the 2000 through 2015 seasons:
Accomplishment Manning Brady Winner
Touchdowns 487 428 Manning
Completions 5,468 4,953 Manning
Yards 63,066 58,028 Manning
Interceptions 208 150 Brady
Now, from the above, Manning takes it. Even though Manning has no stats for the 2011 season due to a neck surgery, he still played five more games than Brady. That’s because Brady only played one game in his first season and in his 2008 season he only played one game due to a knee injury. If they both played 234 games during this period, Brady would have had to do the following during the five additional games to match Manning in touchdowns, completions, and yards:
  • Make 59 more touchdowns (almost 12 touchdowns/game)
  • Throw 515 more completed passes (103 passes/game)
  • Make 5,038 more yards (over 1,000/game)
Highly unlikely. More likely is Brady’s ability not to be sacked 58 times in those five games. Based on these numbers alone, Manning is clearly a more prolific passer (and slower when it comes to running for defenders) and the better player. Yet, the question of who is a better QB is subjective, as thousands of fans and Jim Kelly will attest to. On that note, this writer believes that while Brady seems to make his job look effortless with natural physical prowess, Manning’s pure will and raw talent are what draw me toward the former Bronco. Overall career stats are yet to come, and the Patriot is showing no signs of slowing down, but if we look at that time in history they were both playing, when they were in their prime, Manning is the MVP.