Youth Sports: Active Kids Do Better Part 1

Project Play was founded in 2013 by the Aspen Institute Sports & Society Program. Project Play develops, applies, and shares information, building awareness that helps stakeholders create healthy communities through sports. This project has inspired solutions, like Caris Sports Foundation, further encouraging conversations around sports through scientific data and the many benefits participation in youth sports provide.


At Caris Sports Foundation, we believe in the power of sports to build healthy children, setting them up for a successful future. In this three-part blog series, we will review the future benefits, physical health benefits, educational benefits, and psychosocial benefits of youth sports participation.


In today’s blog, we discuss the future benefits or the benefits for adults who participated in youth sports growing up.  The list below explains the intergenerational cycle of why youth sports are important to the communities within which we live.


The National Longitudinal Survey of Youth found that 32-year-old men who played sports in school were paid wages 31% higher than those who had not played sports.


95% of individuals at the level of executive vice president in 75 Fortune 500 companies played sports during their school years.


NPR reports that adults who played sports as a kid earn more and enjoy faster career acceleration than those not involved in youth sports.


Not only do student athletes tend to earn more as adults, by remaining physically active and healthy they can expect to save significantly on medical costs throughout their lives. According to a study published in the Journal of the American Heart Association, the average savings for

the average person getting enough exercise versus not getting enough exercise totaled $2,500.


According to a San Antonio Sports study, sports can make the difference between success and failure.

  • 95 percent affirmed that participating in sports and athletics at an early age can make a positive difference in a child’s development.
  • 57 percent of business leaders attributed their youth sports experiences to their career success.
  • Top lessons that business leaders learned from playing sports are:
    • Teamwork
    • Ambition and motivation
    • Appreciating physical health
    • Discipline and structure

Most business leaders played sports in their youth, and support youth sport programs. 

  • 62 percent of business leaders (owners and C-suite executives) played sports in their youth.
  • 76 percent have supported youth sports as a donor, volunteer, coach, or parent.

According to Fortune, “participation in competitive youth sports ‘spills over’ to occupationally advantageous traits that persist across a person’s life.”


Additionally, 75 percent of executives said that an applicant’s background in sports positively influenced their hiring decisions.


Caris Sports Foundation was established by individuals who understand firsthand the value of youth sports and the associated benefits of helping boys and girls grow physically, emotionally, and socially. Each of our founders participated in youth sports and have children who currently participate in youth sports.


Did you participate in youth sports? Can you vouch for any of the benefits listed in today’s blog? Comment below!

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