Market Research

The Benefits of Youth Sports
National Council of Youth Sports

The benefits of youth sports promote healthy lifestyles and safe environments for stronger neighborhoods and more wholesome communities. A primary goal in youth sports is to encourage active participation by all youth in fun and healthy physical activities according to their age, interests and abilities.

Organized youth sports instill confidence in young athletes to be part of a team and to make new friends in a safe environment. As role models, it is important to keep it fun so kids want to continue to play sports. Sports and life is about achieving one's personal best. In addition, youth sports develop positive attributes including healthier lifestyles, self-esteem, fair play and good citizenship.

There is a powerful, positive connection between the many great qualities of organized youth sports participation, good character development, better health, and academic success.


Youth Athletes have:

  • Higher levels of physical activity and they expend more energy daily;
  • Less body fat;
  • A reduced risk of becoming overweight or obese;
  • Higher levels of cardiorespiratory fitness;
  • Stronger bones and muscles;
  • An increased likelihood of being physically active later in life.


Sports can provide:

  • Opportunities to make new friends;
  • Exposure to positive role models;
  • Opportunities to travel.


Youth athletes have:

  • Higher levels of self-esteem and social connectedness;
  • Lower levels of depression;
  • Lower levels of suicidal ideation, thoughts, and attempts;
  • Lower levels of problem behaviors (aggression problems, social problems, and delinquency problems).


  • Middle and high school athletes have higher grade point averages than non-athletes;
  • Grade point average increases as the number of sports teams participated on increases;
  • High school sports participation is associated with higher graduation rates and lower dropout rates;
  • Youth athletes miss less school and are more likely to attend college

    Sports participation has also shown to be associated with positive health behaviors. Youth athletes report:

    • Consuming more fruits and vegetables;
    • Being less likely to smoke cigarettes;
    • Watching less television;
    • Being more satisfied with their weight.

    Research shows that young people who participate in athletics get better grades, devote more hours to studying, think more about their future, aspire to attend and graduate from college, and have lower suspension and expulsion rates. It is reported that players reported lower rates of unhealthy behavior such as drinking and smoking, and are less likely to be overweight or become obese. Other studies back up these reports that there is evidence based research to show that youth who play sports get better grades, plan to attend college, and are more community minded.

    "The Benefits of Youth Sports" shared with permission from the Datalys Center.