While it is easy to focus on academic intervention for at-risk teens as a way to help them prepare for adulthood, there are many benefits to an athletic-based program as well. In fact, many of the benefits of sports programs translate directly into improved academics. Here we take a look at five ways that sports based after school programs can benefit at-risk teens and youth.
Sports training and activities can help young people learn about teamwork, cooperative behavior and the need to work collaboratively with others. Many at-risk teens and youth often have to fend for themselves for basic necessities and may not have learned these skills as part of their normal routine. Learning to rely on others and practicing cooperation sets these youngsters up for positive relationships in their personal and professional lives.
Encourage goal setting
Athletics and sports training teaches the youth to set realistic goals. These can be both short-term, like next week’s game, or long-term goals like securing a college scholarship. Achieving these goals can provide high-risk youth concrete evidence of their success, building their confidence along the way.
Teach healthy habits
Healthy habits of sports go far beyond improving physical condition. After school programs that focus on sports can help high-risk youth by providing them with skills that can boost physical and emotional health.
Learning about nutrition can help the youth develop eating habits that may decrease rates of chronic disease as they age.
By promoting healthy sleep patterns, sports also contribute to overall health and wellness, not to mention increased attention during school hours.
Help improve memory
Physical activity has been shown to improve memory and cognitive skills. By keeping kids active, sports-based after-school program activities may help boost academic performance. Coupled with goal setting and leadership skills, this can set at-risk teens up to succeed in school and search out other opportunities.
Create leadership skills
While not everyone is a natural leader, the skills can be taught. Sports encourage the youth to take charge of their behavior, and teammates will hold them accountable for their actions. In this way, sports-based after-school program activities can help at-risk teens and youth learn what it takes to be a responsible adult.
It’s a sad reality that there are a countless amount of young kids who have no direction and supervision once school is out. At this point in their lives, they are at a higher risk to go out and experiment with drugs which can lead them to hanging with the wrong crowd. Taking part in these activities can take a huge toll on their futures. At DREAM, we want to help the youth grow into their full potential, we provide a comfortable environment and space to go to after school.
In addition to offering after school programs for at-risk youths we also have mentoring! Having a mentor as a child means having a friend who can help you get through tough times in life as well as cheer you on through the high points. It’s someone who has went through similar life experiences. One person can impact a child’s future!
DREAM helps at-risk youth with academic skills and help develop their life skills. If you are looking for a mentoring or after school program for your child, contact us today!