Playing sports and maintaining a level of regular physical activity has always been a positive thing for people of all ages. Unfortunately, when it comes to many team sports, participation levels seem to reflect that there’s more males participating than females. Particularly approaching high school, participation drop off rates among girls is much greater than that of boys.

The positive outcomes of girls playing team sports are many, regardless of whether they play competitive level, house league or just for fun with friends. Sports like basketball allow players to benefit from the positive effects of having a team rely on your attendance, growth and skill development. Although, many of these benefits apply universally, they certainly apply and beneficial for females – physically, psychologically, and socially.

At Burlington Basketball, girls basketball programming is hugely popular and we’re proud to be building a community of girls supporting each other – and having fun! From competitive girls programs to girls house leagues – we invite all girls to “get in the game”!

Physical benefits

Reduced risk of chronic illness later in life – Girls who regularly participate in sports overall have a stronger immune system and reduce their risks of developing high blood pressure, diabetes, heart disease and some cancers as they grow older.

Lower obesity levels – Girls who play sports and maintain a level of physical activity are statistically less obese than those who don’t. Studies have shown that girls who play multiple team sports are more likely to maintain a healthy BMI compared to girls who played few or no team sports.

Healthier menstrual cycles – Girls who are physical active and play sports typically have more regular cycles and experience lighter flow and less cramping.

Lower instances of smoking and drug use – Girls who play sports are naturally more inclined to stay away from substances that would make breathing and maintaining their physical activity difficult. They are also statistically more likely than their peers to abstain from sex and avoid teenage pregnancy.

Psychological benefits

Reduce anxiety and increase coping mechanisms – Playing sports can give girls an outlet to help reduce stressors and anxiety. Physical activity is a natural mood booster thanks to the hormones it releases.

Do better in school – Though you might think that playing sports would take a player away from their studies, it can actually have the opposite effect. The ability to play on a school team is usually tied to a student’s success in the classroom, so there is significant motivation to stay on top of their schoolwork. Exercise has also been shown to help improve memory and concentration, leading to better overall performance in school.

Have higher self esteem and self confidence – Girls who play sports generally experience a much lower rate of low self esteem and low self confidence. When she is good at something like playing her position, making shots or playing as part of a team a girl is more likely to have confidence in herself in other areas of her life as well.

Learn how to work as a team and set goals – Being a part of a team helps girls to learn how to work together to solve problems and achieve a common goal. This skill will have life long positive effects. The ability to set goals and put in the work to achieve them will also have long term positive repercussions.

Decreased rates of depression and suicide – When players have something like a sport to help them stay motivated, connected and engaged, they are less likely to experience feelings of depression.

Social benefits

Built in social network – When girls are a part of a team, they are often jumping into a ready-made social circle. Having to work together so closely on the court allows students to create a bond with each other faster than they might otherwise.

More likely to get involved in their community – Athletes who experience the close-knit feelings of community on their team are more likely to seek this involvement as they grow into adulthood.

Take advantage of the many benefits for women in sports

There are many physical benefits to playing sports, and many of them are quite obvious. From maintaining a healthy weight and improving fitness to being able to get a better sleep each night, any kind of regular physical activity is going to have significant benefits to one’s physical health. However, there are also many other non-physical positive effects from playing sports, as well.