December 8, 2007

The benefits of playing softball

If you play softball there is a good chance you play the game because you like the sport, the competition, or the fun. However, if you are ever down on the game or down on yourself here are some reasons you might want to reconsider those feelings.

Being an athlete in general has many more benefits than most people probably know. Yes, players may earn a college scholarship, but there is so much more gained than one would think. First, playing sports is very healthy. The Feminist Research Center has done a number of studies on women athletes some of which indicate that women who exercise regularly and boost their cardiovascular stamina can lessen their risk of heart attacks, strokes, back problems, osteoporosis, and other health issues.

Furthermore, it has been concluded that women that work out regularly from puberty to adulthood can also lessen their risk of breast cancer. "Women that exercised at least four hours/week reduced their risk by over 50%, and women who exercised one to three hours/week reduced their risk by 30%" (Feminist Research Center).

In addition to being healthy, the Women's Sports Foundation also finds that playing sports is good for women mentally and emotionally. Female athletes tend to have higher self-esteem, lower levels of depression, and higher grades.

Girls involved in sports usually have a more positive body image and are healthier psychologically (Women's Sports Foundation). Also, high school athletes generally have higher grades than non-athletes and a large portion of them tend to score in the top quartile on standardized tests. Finally, these individuals develop leadership skills and tend to apply them in their communities later in life (Feminist Research Center).

If any of you softball players out there think your sacrifices are for nothing, think again! Not only does the game give you something fun to do on the weekends with your friends, but it is healthy on so many levels!

When your softball career is over, you will realize how much softball has prepared you for life after sports. 80% of female Fortune 500 company executives identified themselves as "tomboys" when they were younger, indicating a bright future for female athletes (Women's Sports Foundation).

Furthermore, women who have played sports tend to have a better understanding of the inner workings of business models than women who have not played sports, putting the female athletes at an advantage in the workforce (Women's Sports Foundation). So next time you pick up that glove or that bat and think of all the things you could be doing instead, think of all the great things you are doing for yourself that you might not usually notice,; you may change your mind and decide that playing softball isn't such a bad idea after all!

Sources: http://www.womenssportsfoundation.org/cgi-bin/iowa/index.html
http://www.feminist.org/research/sports/sports6.html



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