Education Matters

Why boys need sport to stay motivated at school

Posted by Jason Cheers on Jan 7, 2016 6:00:00 AM

Sport at schoolParticipation in sport is an important and unique component of a boy’s education. It provides boys with a sense of structure and collective purpose while cultivating a sense of competitiveness. This is important to encourage for the sake of enabling boys to give their best rather than simply for the sake of winning. Many boys tend to be task-oriented and understanding rules, boundaries and operating procedures of what they do is important. The emphasis on team sports at Trinity emboldens co-operation, camaraderie and mutual respect.

Boys benefit from sport in many ways, including:

  • Improvement in physical, psychological and social health
  • Enhanced cognitive function
  • Developing character and leadership
  • Learning to extend themselves and experience teamwork
  • Developing and refining skills
  • Learning to cope with adversity
  • Learning to lose with dignity and to win with grace
  • Disciplined care of the body
  • Cultivation of temperate habits that are essential to healthy living

A synthesis of neuroscience research published by Dr Michael Nagel illustrates the role sport and exercise play in improving cognition and other areas of brain function, especially for boys. Exercise has been proven to raise endorphins which enhance feelings of comfort and wellbeing and to increase the brain’s levels of dopamine, norepinephrine and serotonin, which regulate mood, cognition and behaviour.

Dr Nagel’s synthesis reveals how girls generally use more cortical areas of their brains for verbal and emotive functioning, whereas boys tend to use these same areas for spatial and mechanical functioning.

The cortical trend toward spatial-mechanical functioning makes boys more attracted to moving and engaging in sport. Reduced levels of serotonin and oxytocin in boys’ brains also make them more likely to be physically impulsive and less able to neutrally combat their natural impulsiveness to move and be active.

Sport offers a wonderful outlet for boys to channel their energies in this regard and Trinity’s unique sport programme takes this research into consideration to provide the very best environment for our boys to flourish. For more information on understanding and raising boys, visit our Raising boys page.

To see Trinity’s sport programme in action – please click here.

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Topics: Sport and boys