Why Should Kids With Bad Grades Play Sports?

By Alison LaFortune
Sports can help students in school.
Sports can help students in school.

If your child is struggling with low grades, you may only be focused on getting your child to put more effort into academics. However, getting involved in sports can be a beneficial extracurricular for a student who struggles in school. Sports can change a student's attitude about school and even instill in him the skills he needs to be more disciplined about his education.

Gaining Self-Discipline

Sports teach discipline and require participants to stick to a schedule. Both of these skills can help a student to be more successful in an academic setting. Self-discipline comes into play when she must get up early for practice, remember her equipment and uniform, and keep practicing even when her body and/or mind wants to give up. If she enjoys the sport, she may continue to be disciplined about practice in order to please the other members of her team.

Sense of Belonging

Being accountable to a team is one of the most important lessons -- and most enjoyable parts -- of playing a sport. While a struggling student may not enjoy dragging himself to school each day, he may look forward to seeing his teammates in the hallways or perk up when remembering a practice or game after school. It is sometimes difficult for a struggling student to feel comfortable in school, and being part of a team may aid in the process tremendously. If the student feels as though he belongs in the school community, he may be more likely to put effort towards improving his grades. Even if the sport is not school-sponsored, the student may still get the social boost that will help him feel better about himself overall. A student with a good attitude about himself may work harder for goals in other parts of his life.

Teammate Support

Whether teammates go to the same school or not, the student feels the support from her peers. Teammates can become a parent's allies by encouraging a struggling student to study or even tutoring fellow players. Helping each other out on the playing field can easily translate to working together on challenges in an academic setting.

Overall Attitude Boost

TeensHealth notes that improving skills on the playing field and accomplishing sports goals builds self-confidence. This boost in self-esteem may translate into more effort in academics. If you're looking to improve your child's grades and attitude towards school, encouraging him to join a sports team may help him build the confidence and learn skills that will benefit him inside and outside of the classroom.

About the Author

Alison LaFortune specializes in articles on education and parenting. She has a Bachelor of Science in elementary education, and taught seventh grade science and language arts for five years.