The high-fives on the field and in the bleachers, the smiles when the game is going well, the collective anxiety when the game isn't clearly in our team's control -- it's easy to see how cheering for the same sports team brings fans together. Does that sense of togetherness at the game translate into benefits for the school community as a whole? Yes, it does, both for the individual student, and the school-wide community.
Many parents see the benefits of team sports for their students: time management, exercise, leadership development, teamwork, collaboration, etc. As parents, we've often heard that student athletes get better grades and have lower incidents of high risk behaviors. But how do team sports affect the school as a whole?
It begins with caring for our students. As noted in a recent article posted on the Global Sports Development blog, in addition to the individual physical and mental health benefits, "Sports also create important opportunities for students to contribute to the school community, which may cultivate an increased commitment to, or identification with, school and school values." To read the full article, please click here.
I spoke to some parents recently at a community meeting at Shorecrest Preparatory School, where I am the Athletic Director. The message to parents was, "Celebrate the Good." Our teams and athletes have put up some impressive scores and statistics. However, we need to remember that just like athletes need their families' support, good teams become great athletic programs with everyone's participation. Great programs are a foundation of great communities. When athletes, parents and visitors see people of all ages encouraging their team, they can participate in something larger than themselves. They can commit to and take pride in their school's community, and cement that connection with fun. So, please, come on out to the game. Bring younger siblings and grandparents, and let's build our school up together!
When we support our student athletes, we are not only taking individual care of them, we are offering them a chance to contribute to their community. If there are supporters in the stands, athletes have the opportunity to allow their skills to become a rallying point. Cheering on your school's sports team builds pride in your school, its students and its administration. It allows the entire community to support a common cause and build a positive connection to the school together.
We invite you to visit Shorecrest for a game or a tour by clicking here.
Come and see how we Cheer for Community!