It’s an age-old adage – it’s exam time, so get ready to hit the books! But could playing sports really be the key to academic success?
Is there a link between sport and increased academic performance?
A 2013 article published by the International Journal of the History of Sport comparing the academic success of athlete and non-athlete students reported improved academic performance in the former, suggesting that the skills gained from playing sports could be just the thing to put you on track to that A+.
Specifically, the study cited skills gained from playing sport, such as dedication, focus, leadership, teamwork, and effective decision-making, as those most instrumental in increased academic success. It was suggested that non-athletes are less likely to possess these particular skills, or to possess them to a lesser extent, than athletes.
The link between academic performance and sport is one that has been studied for many years, with a 2003 study conducted by students at the University of Malta yielding similar results. This study found that students that regularly engaged in sports experienced greater achievement academically than those who did not.
So just how do you go about maximising your academic achievement through sport? Here are some easy ways that you can get that extra burst of physical activity into your day, meaning that when it’s finally time to hit the books, you’ll be well ahead of your less active peers.
1. Walk, don’t drive!
Heading to class? Instead of driving the two blocks to class, walk it!
2. Join a gym
Most universities have a free fitness centre for student use. Even if you spend just fifteen to twenty minutes sweating it out per day, you’re already well on the way to increasing your ability to perform better academically.
3. Join a club
A lot of universities have all kinds of fun sporting activities. Choose the right one and you’ll end up having such a great time that you’ll forget you’re playing sport! Volleyball, anyone?