How Sports Help Boys Focus for School

Nov 19 2019

It’s no secret that organized sports provide young boys with important physical benefits. Kicking aroundboys running at Camp Chikopi a soccer ball helps build leg and cardiovascular strength while pitching and hitting a baseball improves arm strength. However, recent studies, including findings from the Aspen Institute’s Healthy Sports Index, have shown that various team sports also promote mental and emotional health in ways that support good academic performance. Encouraging your son to keep up with team and solo sports can help them improve their grades during the school year, and keep them sharp over the summer.

Social Benefits

Team sports create an ideal opportunity for boys to get to know their peers, and interact in a more casual environment. As they work toward a common goal, boys learn how to communicate and cooperate effectively with each other, which ultimately carries over into the classroom. Children with well-developed communication skills are better able to express their ideas and problem-solving abilities in their schoolwork, and in navigating relationships with their teachers and fellow students.

Cognitive Benefits

The various rules and skills needed to excel in team sports require a lot of mental exercise for boys who partake in them. Having to perform well, while also executing the team’s strategy or playbook has shown to help develop children’s memory function, as well as their ability to learn and remember new things. In the classroom, this translates to better performance on assignments, improved test scores, and more well-rounded academic achievement.

Psychological Benefits

Living in the digital age, surrounded by social media, children today can feel extra-pressured to meet various social standards, whether it’s about what they wear, who they talk to, what values they believe in. Exercise has long been considered an excellent form of stress relief, and is especially true for children experiencing anxiety and depression. Not only do team sports give young boys something productive to divert their attention away from their heightened emotions, it also teaches them patience and discipline with themselves and others as they learn to slow down, process their thoughts and feelings, and react more positively to stressors. The result is better critical thinking skills that greatly benefit boys’ in-class experience, as well as their overall academic performance.

Using sports to stay sharp during the summer

If your son’s access to team sports ends with the school year, parents often observe a decline during the summer of their son’s ability to handle stress, to communicate effectively, and to problem solve - academics are the last thing they’ll be able to retain.

Fortunately, spending the summer at an all-boys sports camp like Camp Chikopi can help reinforce the skills, values and scholastic success your son has developed over the course of the school year. Camp Chikopi offers the full list of sports in the Aspen Institute’s Healthy Sports Index, or their recommended substitutes, that are shown to positively influence young boys, including in the academic arena. Located in Algonquin, Ontario, boys enrolling at Chikopi have access to nature, independent activities, and structured team sports that support boys’ social, cognitive and psychological well-being. Boys are able to better retain what they learned during the last school year, and are also better prepared to learn and perform well once the following school term starts.

Visit our website at, for a full list of sports offered at Camp Chikopi, program dates, and enrollment forms for Summer 2020, our 100th Anniversary!


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