Physical activity programs are an integral part of the maturation of middle school students. According to the National Association for Sport and Physical Education, students must have the opportunity to participate in physical activity outside of curricular physical education. All sports programs must be implemented in a way that acknowledges student development, needs and interests. When qualified professionals adhere to the educational policies, there can be numerous benefits for students involved in athletics.

Physical Growth

Physical activity is essential to the development of middle school students. Playing sports in middle school improves motor skills and physical fitness. Physically active middle school students also develop healthy bones, muscles and joints, promoting normal physical growth and maturation.

Weight

As adolescents begin to mature, maintaining a healthy weight can become a persistent concern. However, structured physical activity can help to reduce weight and build lean muscle for middle school students. In addition to helping to maintain a healthy weight, reducing fat also helps to prevent or delay the development of high blood pressure, resulting in a healthier middle school student.

Socialization

Participating in physical activity provides the opportunity for young athletes to improve their social skills. Through team work and discipline, young athletes learn to collaborate with others and communicate effectively. Experiencing a sports program that is designed for their social and physical developmental levels allows middle school athletes to build high self-esteem and positive self-perceptions, resulting in improved socialization.

Mental Health

Depression and anxiety are common conditions that many young students are learning to cope with. In today’s society, more young people are isolating themselves and demonstrating negative behavior as a response to these conditions. However, participating in athletic programs helps to provide students with a positive environment and increased enjoyment of activities, improving their motivation to complete daily tasks as they mature.

Lifestyle

Many students who play sports as they mature develop an appreciation for a physically active lifestyle. They learn numerous life lessons while achieving optimal health, resulting in the desire to continue physical activity. Participating in regular physical activity establishes a foundation for a lifelong commitment to a healthy lifestyle.