How football may help with academic destressing

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kids football training
Photo by Adrià Crehuet Cano on Unsplash

Football is one of the most famous sports in the world today, with over 5.6 billion fans mainly drawn from Latin America, the Middle East, and Africa. The FIFA World Cup, for instance, is the biggest single sporting event worldwide, attracting over 5 billion viewers.

Football is a physical game with numerous benefits including improved cardiovascular health, strength, and agility. Moreover, recent studies have shown that it can also have significant mental health benefits, particularly when it comes to academic destressing.

In this short article, we discuss some of its main advantages and how they can impact your overall health:

Physical activity

Football is one of the most demanding sports in the world. It can get as brutal as boxing, as long as half a marathon, and as mentally demanding as chess. Even though the sport has evolved significantly over the years, its physical demands have remained unchanged. Most energy-intensive sports last less than 30 minutes. However, a football match can last over 120 minutes.

The running, tackling, intercepting, and positional changes consume so much energy that a few players have fainted or died on the field. Despite the strains, the physical demands have several advantages. Extreme physical activities trigger the body to release endorphins – hormones that act as natural painkillers and mood elevators, leaving students more relaxed and stress-free.

Teamwork and camaraderie

Team sports thrive on the chemistry between members. However, football takes it to a whole new level. While individual brilliance can win you tournaments, championships demand the highest level of collaboration. The defence must be in sync to keep the opposition at bay and the midfield must be in perfect harmony to break down the opponents.

Great coaches leverage team dynamics to have a competitive edge over other teams, fostering strong bonds among teammates. This team-based approach to management can be explored in-depth by a professional dissertation writing service for sports education. However, the main takeaway is that teams can be invaluable for students who are struggling academically or feeling isolated during stressful times.

Time management skills

Time management is an integral part of sports, especially football. Managers and coaches expect their players to be disciplined and committed to training, medical checkups, and other team activities. However, once in a while, we hear stories about players who’ve been banned or suspended by their teams for lateness.

For example, in 2022, Mikel Arteta, then a new manager for Arsenal FC, suspended Pierre-Emerick Aubameyang, the club’s captain, for repeated lateness. He went further to strip him of the club’s captaincy and sidelined him from training sessions. Aubameyang eventually left without ever kicking a ball for the club again.

However, a more publicized case involved Jadon Sancho of Manchester United and his manager, Erik ten Hag. The player didn’t take being called out for laziness and lateness in a press conference lightly. Consequently, he refused to apologize and was sidelined for over four months despite earning over GBP 350,000 per week.

The stakes are always high, especially when playing for more established clubs or their academies. However, most players eventually become great time managers, which is vital for their academic and personal success.

Cognitive benefits

Football isn’t just about 22 men chasing a round inflated skin. The sport requires the highest level of tactical awareness. While some players are naturally talented, it’s still vital that they fit in specific systems, which require rigorous training. Years of training, strategic thinking, and decision-making can be highly beneficial.

Moreover, the cognitive demands of being on the pitch and executing moves, making quick decisions, and solving tactical challenges can help improve brain function and cognitive abilities, which can be beneficial for academic success, including admission essay writing services 2024 and other demands.

Social interaction

The social aspect of football is equally important. You must understand that footballers are humans with basic needs including companionship. However, forging social relationships isn’t easy for top players, especially those playing for big teams. Fame often attracts the wrong people.

Nonetheless, players often have each other to lean on. As a team, it’s easier to foster social connections and a sense of community with each other, which can alleviate feelings of isolation and loneliness that can contribute to academic stress for those in school.

Stress relief

stressed relaxed choose wisely sign

Football can be stressful for young players. Juggling classwork, training sessions, family, and other social life demands can be unbearable for youngsters. Cases of student outbursts after years of shelving frustrations have been recorded globally. This risk faces all youngsters without proper outlets.

However, football’s competitive nature and the sense of accomplishment from winning matches can provide a healthy way to relieve stress and unwind from academic pressures. It’s the safest outlet to channel frustrations and pent-up energy. Notably, some professional footballers have admitted to being too physical with opponents, i.e. kicking, pushing, and elbowing them, as a way of venting their frustrations.

Improved sleep

Irregular sleep or insomnia can be derailing. As a student, you need adequate sleep to read and understand your course materials. Unfortunately, distractions such as partying, clubbing, and other social activities can steal your sleep time, leaving you weak and spent in a zombie mode.

The physicality of football can help reset your sleep circles, allowing you to have quality rest, which is essential for your academic success.