These days, pretty much every college offers its students a variety of extracurriculars, including sports. These extracurriculars are there to help students socialize, develop in different directions, and expand their fields of interest. And, without any doubt, football is one of the most popular extras in the US.
For many students, football is a great sport and a way to stay fit while in college. At the same time, it’s an opportunity to make lots of new friends and, if you are lucky, even get a solid scholarship.
Knowing all these benefits, many students choose football as their primary extracurricular. They get through hours of daily training despite an already intense schedule and loads of homework. Sometimes, they even find professionals to ask, “please, write my research papers,” to have more time for their athletics. And this is quite justified. After all, apart from social and physical health benefits, this sport can also provide many mental health benefits and help students reduce stress. Read on, and we will tell you how this sport can benefit students.
It Provides Stress Relief
First and foremost, football is proven to have a stress-relieving effect on players. According to numerous studies, even people with tough mental health conditions report that weekly training and games help them manage their stress and anxiety levels. Moreover, nearly all athletes confirm they feel much more relaxed after every game.
If you are wondering how playing this sport can relieve stress, the answer lies in physical activity. According to scientists, being physically active reduces the concentration of stress hormones in the human body. At the same time, physical activity boosts the level of mood-improving hormones. As a result, people who exercise regularly feel more positive and relaxed. And this effect can be felt right after the training.
It Improves Social Connections
There is no secret that many college students (especially during their freshman years) find it hard to fit in and socialize in a new environment. According to surveys, this fact adds extra pressure on young people. Feeling lonely and “not belonging,” students often experience increased stress levels. And this is one more way how football can help you relax.
The social benefits of joining a sports team are obvious. When you become a part of a team, you get a chance to make lots of new social connections. Moreover, the contacts you will make are people who share your values and interests. And you also share the same team spirit. As a result, young people who play football in college get a unique socializing experience and a feeling that they belong somewhere. Eventually, this feeling will help you relax after a tense day as soon as you get together with your teammates and distract from daily issues.
It Boosts Sleep Quality
Did you know that there is a direct connection between stress and sleep? According to experts, high levels of stress can make it harder and longer to fall asleep and fragment your sleep. Eventually, sleep loss triggers our body’s response system, which leads to even higher levels of stress. These two things are so related that without managing one, it’s impossible to improve the other. And football can help here too.
Needless to say, playing football is a ton of work. Every training and game can tire you out more than any other activity. Due to this reason, it’s proven that such athletics can significantly improve the quality of sleep. Athletes fall asleep faster and sleep deeper in general. As a result, they can feel more relaxed, positive, and calm than their peers.
It Increases Self-Esteem
This game always forces players to push themselves to the limits. It requires physical courage, endurance, and focus. Attaining set goals on the field is hard. But the reward is sweet. All athletes report feeling excited and proud after every win they make on the field. According to psychologists, this pride positively affects young people’s self-esteem. And as a result, it helps them feel more positive and relaxed beyond the field too.
According to specialists, people with higher self-esteem are generally happier with their lives. They tend to face fewer interpersonal problems. They don’t doubt their actions so much. Respectively, they feel less anxious and stressed. Needless to say, this increased self-value can really help you relax and believe in yourself. And it can actually help you achieve more in different spheres of your life!
It Removes External Thoughts
According to many specialists, football is linked to improved concentration. Indeed, when you are on the field, you are not allowed to distract from the game, even for a moment. This fact also shows how playing this game can actually help you relax.
When after a tense day, you get to the practice or game, all your thoughts will automatically switch. You will forget about all the challenges and problems you’ve faced during the day. And the only thing you will be able to think about is the win. Eventually, after the game or practice, there is a good chance that you will not recall previous disturbing thoughts. Or, even if you recall them, your issues might not seem so big anymore. What’s more, if you win the game, you will not find this day so tense and bad anymore.
The Bottom Line
There are many benefits of playing football in college. By being physically active regularly, you can avoid a variety of health issues and improve overall fitness. Also, by becoming a part of the team, you will no longer feel like you don’t belong or can’t fit in in college. Yet, the most important benefit this sport can give you is related to your mental health.
According to numerous studies, playing football offers a variety of benefits, including stress relief, social connections, better sleep quality, improved self-esteem, etc. All these things confirm that playing this sport can support students’ mental health and help them relax even after the tensest days. So if you are still thinking about whether to join a team or not, now you have some weighty reasons to do this!