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In a new study at Washington University in St. Louis, researchers found that playing team sports was a greater predictor of success in a residency program for doctors-in-training than test scores or a good interview.
“Not all of the outstanding students end up being the best doctors,” says lead author Richard Chole, M.D., Ph.D., Director of the American Board of Otolaryngology. When researchers noticed that a lot of the doctors-in-training were former athletes, they sent questionnaires to successful residents and indeed found that many good docs shared varsity letters in common.
A comprehensive, statewide study of the academic performance of high school student-athletes in North Carolina over a three-year period has revealed significant differences between athletes and nonathletes.
The study was done by Dr. Roger Whitley, in collaboration with the North Carolina High School Athletic Association and its Student Services Division.Based on reports now over a three-year period covering some 285,805 students across North Carolina, students who participated in interscholastic athletic
s in the North Carolina high schools surveyed from the 1993-94, 1994-95, and 1995-96 academic years significantly outperformed their non-athlete counterparts.
But Wharton economist Betsey Stevenson may have found a way to untangle the lines of cause and effect. She examined what happened after Title IX — the 1972 law that banned gender discrimination at federally-funded schools.
Title IX’s most pronounced effect was on athletics. Girls’ participation in high school sports went from 1 in 27 in 1972 to 1 in 4 in 1978. But it’s effect wasn’t uniform because states where boys’ participation in athletics was high were forced to increase girls’ participation the most. Ms. Stevenson was able to use the variation between states to tease out the effect of girls participation in sports from other factors. That allowed her to see how playing sports affected girls’ success later in life.
Her conclusion: A 10 percentage-point rise in girls’ participation in high school sports leads to a 1 percentage point increase in female college attendance and a 1 to 2 percentage point increase in female labor-force participation.
So yeah, its been studied and the results show being an athlete in high school correlates to higher college attendance, academic performance, and financial stability. And why wouldn't it? High school sports teach values like leadership, confidence in yourself, punctuality, and accountability. Almost any healthy kid can be a decent HS athlete, it just takes commitment. Years of football and track have without a doubt directly led me to a better lifestyle.