The Benefits of Sports

Regular physical activity contributes to healthier, longer lives and offers a wide array of non-physical health benefits as well.

Academic and Career Benefits

Youth sports helps young athletes learn important life skills like goal setting and time management, as well as the following:

Health and Wellness Benefits

Regular physical activity, fitness and exercise are critically important for the health and well-being of people of all ages.

Life and Social Benefits

Children who participate in sports, compared to peers who do not play sports exhibit the following:

Sports Safety Matters

Youth athletes receive countless benefits from participation in organized sports whether through a local recreational league, youth sport organization or school. The risk of injury is inherent in sports but the benefits typically outweigh the risks. It is important for youth athletes, parents and community members to understand the risks of sport and take steps to reduce the risk. Athletic trainers play a critical role in providing a safer approach to sports. Parents, coaches and administrators can work together with athletic trainers to make sports as safe as possible and allow youth to reap the many benefits that come with sports.

Unfortunately, many youth athletes play sports in environments that do not prioritize their health and safety, leaving them at an increased risk of injury or illness. This includes teams that have a toxic culture, teams that do not invest in their players’ health and teams that do not follow established best practices and policies designed to keep youth athletes safe. Many times funding, lack of community support and access to resources are barriers to implementing these policies, but if schools and communities can provide sports, they have the legal and moral responsibility to provide them in as safe a manner as possible.

Facts About Sports Safety

Sports play an important role in the lives of millions of youth each year. Parents, coaches and community members must be aware of the risks inherent in sports and implement strategies to help reduce risk – such as employing an athletic trainer.

62% of sports-related injuries occur during practice.
2.6 million children are treated in the emergency department each year for sports or recreation-related injuries.
$13 billion is the estimated lifetime cost of fractures, sprain, strains and dislocations in youth ages 10 to 19.
39% of life-threatening, sports-related injuries treated in the emergency department are patients ages 6 to 18.

Disparities in Health Care

Health care disparities exist in youth sports. Closing gaps in access to appropriate health care and making sure all athletes have the ability to play sports safely increases long-term health outcomes, reduces health care costs and helps ensure a brighter future.

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