Benefits of Teens' Participation in Sports Programs: With Examples of CEOs in the U.S. Who Participated in Sports
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There are many benefits associated with sports program participation for teen boys and girls. Some of these benefits include; self-confidence, impressive academic performance, mental and physical health.

Overview

  • According to a survey, 96% of school dropouts in 14 school districts in seven regions across the US were not participating in sports. On the other hand, 95% of Fortune500 executives today participated in sports in their teens. Such studies are an indicator that sports help teens to become better adults and contribute to society. Research further indicates that a teen’s involvement in sports can help them become better at social interactions, improve their listening skills, increase their confidence, and improve their health. Teens that engage in sports are likely to attain higher grades in school and pursue higher education. More so, teen boys that are active in sports are less likely to experiment with vices such as drugs and substance abuse.
  • Sports participation creates self-confidence among teens as it encourages social development and the ability to forge long-lasting friendships. Through sports, teens have managed to interact better and gain self-confidence. More so, teen boys and girls can have stable mental health while interacting at the playground as they are in a better position to curb anxiety, self-consciousness, and shyness. Sports participation is not just about competition but also cultivating relationships and bonds on and off the playground while growing up. Teens that are active in sports are in a better position to share their fears with their peers, thus forming bonds that can improve their self-confidence and lasting friendships.
  • By increasing their self-esteem, teen boys and girls who participate in sports can have more self-confidence. More so, staying active and occupied is important for their mental health, especially during competitions where they are cheered on by audiences. A sturdy self-confidence can also give teens the courage to take up even bigger challenges or harder tasks, at school or in life. As a result, these teens can approach life with a positive attitude, which improves their mental health.
  • Statistics indicate that 92% of teen boys that participate in sports are less likely to experiment with drugs, while 80% of teen girls are less likely to get pregnant and three times more likely to graduate high school and proceed to higher education, compared to teens that do not engage in sports. With these statistics, it is evident that sports not only keep the youth active and occupied but also give them the common sense to set their priorities right, which could ultimately affect their lives positively even as adults.
  • Naturally, teens who engage in sports are physically fit as they are involved in rigorous activities that burn calories. Obesity among young people has continued to become a menace in the US, where one out of three young Americans is said to be obese or overweight. By engaging in sports activities, however, they are in a better position to become physically fit and lose some weight. More so, coaches put these teens on a strict diet which encourages them to stop overeating and instead, spend more time eating right and working out in sports.
  • An article published by Forbes provides that even though many teen girls are hindered from participating in sports due to various reasons such as financial and cultural barriers, and in recent times, COVID-19, those that engage in sports activities are more confident, healthy and perform better in school. Teen girls that engage in sports are in a better position to connect with their coaches and enjoy sports. Sports brands such as Nike, are, therefore, putting more mechanisms in place to see to it that more girls are encouraged to participate in sports.

CEOs in the United States Who Played Sports in College

Brian Moynihan and Meg Whitman are CEOs in the United States who participated in sports in their college years.

1. Brian Moynihan, CEO, Bank of America

  • Bank of America CEO Brian Moynihan was a rugby player at Brown. According to Moynihan, “The lessons of leadership do transfer — how to motivate people, how to try to get people to do more than a team can do apart. You can only win in rugby if you play as a team. I mean, every person has to carry the ball, every person has to tackle, every person has to pass the ball, so you have to work as a team.”

2. Meg Whitman, CEO of Hewlett-Packard

  • Meg Whitman, CEO of Hewlett-Packard was not only the captain of her high school swim team but also a basketball, tennis, and lacrosse player at Princeton University. In her book, The Power of Many, Whitman opines, “I liked team sports the best. When I’m pulling a business team together, I still use those basketball aphorisms I learned as a young person: ‘Let’s pass the ball around a little before game time.’ ‘Do we need man-to-man or zone defense?'”

3. Irene Rosenfeld, Mondelez International CEO

  • Mondelez International CEO, Irene Rosenfeld, played NCAA basketball at Cornell University. Even though her sporting ability was cut short after breaking her leg in freshman, she continued participating in intramural sports. As head of the global food company Mondēlez, Forbes has ranked Rosenfeld as one of the most powerful and highest paid women in business today.

4. Anita DeFrantz, President of the Tubman-Truth Corporation

  • Anita DeFrantz, President of the Tubman-Truth Corporation, played in the women’s basketball teams at her Alma Mater Connecticut College, where graduated with a bachelor’s degree in political philosophy in 1974. DeFrantz attributes more of her leadership to sports: “I had to learn how to work together with people that I might not have otherwise crossed paths with, then work toward a common goal.”

5. Jerry Jones, President and General Manager, Dallas Cowboys

  • In his college days, Jerry Jones, President and General Manager, Dallas Cowboys played football and was co-captain of the football captain at the University of Arkansas in 1964. He attributes his managerial skills to his background in sports, and particularly in college where he learned “extremely important and valuable lessons in the art of communication, management, business strategy and being a father.”

6. Gail K. Boudreaux, President and CEO of Anthem Inc.

  • President and chief executive officer of Anthem Inc., Gail K. Boudreaux, played in the women’s basketball at Dartmouth, where she also earned a bachelor’s degree in sociology and psychology in 1982. When asked the role sports helped her in leadership, Boudreaux says, “As a former college basketball player, I learned many valuable lessons on the court that have shaped my leadership style today. I believe that a successful leader ensures everyone on the team clearly understands their role and responsibilities, communicates often and effectively, and approaches each challenge with the mindset that there is always another move or option. More importantly, great leaders build teams and cultures that embrace diverse backgrounds and foster different perspectives. When we come together as a team to achieve a common goal, I believe we can achieve extraordinary results.”

7. David Koch, CEO Koch Industries

  • Other than running the second-largest private firm in the US, Koch Industries CEO, David Koch, also ran as the Libertarian Party’s vice-presidential candidate back in 1980. Forbes ranks David Koch as America’s 6th richest man. While studying at MIT, Koch was an all-time scoring basketball leader. In 1962, he made a record with 41 points and became a captain in his senior year.

8. Lynn Laverty Elsenhans, Sunoco CEO

  • Sunoco CEO Lynn Laverty Elsenhans played for Rice’s first women’s basketball team in 1978 at Rice University where she graduated with a degree in Mathematics. Elsenhans was also the first woman ever to lead a major oil company.
GLENN TREVOR
Glenn is the Lead Operations Research Analyst at The Digital Momentum with experience in research, statistical data analysis and interview techniques. A holder of degree in Economics. A true specialist in quantitative and qualitative research.

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