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Playing Sports at School Makes People Grittier and Harder Working

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Playing sports at school makes people “grittier” and harder working, boosts the chances of achieving long-term goals, and having successful careers, say scientists.

Oftentimes old fashioned notions about people arose from a collected experiential wisdom, and in this case, Teddy Roosevelt’s notion that sports hardens a young man seems correct.

A study looked at adults who took part in organized sports as children—such as football, baseball and basketball, and measured them for “grit.”

The trait was defined as a combination of passion, perseverance, courage, endurance, resilience, and conscientiousness.

How does one measure grit without Navy Seal training?

The Ohio State University team analyzed National Sports and Society Survey data on almost 4,000 men and women across the US and asked study participants to rate themselves on a scale of 1-5 on eight statements.

They included “I am diligent. I never give up” and “I am a hard worker.” None of the statements was directly related to sports.

34% of those who did sports as a youngster scored high on the grit scale, compared to 23% of peers who opted out or gave up. One in four of those who never played sports ranked low, compared to just 17% of those who did.

Lead author Dr. Emily Nothnagle said practicing drills on the field can improve pupils’ lives for decades, adding “the grit they develop playing sports can help them the rest of their lives.”

True grit

Those who participated in sports during the past year showed more grit than those who didn’t, said co-author Professor Chris Knoester.

“Adults who played youth sports but dropped out did not show higher levels of grit,” Prof. Knoester “They actually demonstrated lower levels of grit after we included a proxy measure of how sports mattered for the development of grit while growing up.”

The findings, published in the journal Leisure Sciences, were supported by more sophisticated statistical analyses that accounted for respondents’ demographic characteristics.

But it appears only children who keep at it—and play continually—get the benefit, say the researchers. Some may just be born with the grit to help them succeed at sports as a young person and then continue to benefit from that trait as an adult.

“Quitting could reflect a lack of perseverance, which is a crucial component of grit,” said Knoester. “It could also make quitting an activity, and not persevering, easier the next time.”

Adults who played sports as kids generally perceived the experience helped improve their work ethic, and that perception was linked to their grit scores as adults even though the researchers said people can gain or lose grit throughout life.

For instance adults who said they participated in sports regularly within the last year exhibited higher levels of grit.

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Watertown youth trout derby returns after five-year absence

in Sports 1,009 views

WATERTOWN — Stephen M. Rich doesn’t remember a lot about participating in the Watertown Sportsmen’s Club youth trout derby when he was a child.

But he does remember cherishing going with his father, Stephen L. Rich, to the pond at the Dry Hill Road facility.

“It was a big deal,” the now 56-year-old son said.

After a five-year hiatus, the annual trout derby for kids will return on Sunday to honor Mr. Rich’s father, who died in January after a long illness.

Mr. Rich and his family wanted to do something special to remember him. His father, an avid outdoorsman, was president of the sports club when the trout derby was in its heyday.

In those days, the trout derby was a family affair, with his siblings, brothers Shawn M. and Brian D. and sister Tricia L. Ledoux, gathering around that pond with their dad.

“He was an avid sportsman,” the son said. “He loved to hunt and fish.”

He and his dad also went to the sportsmen’s club to trap shoot and hunt for ducks before school, Mr. Rich recalled.

In those days, the annual trout derby featured a junior division for 4- to 8-year-olds and a senior division for 9- to 12-year-olds.

The derby, which will be held from 10 a.m. to 2 p.m. Sunday, is a great way to teach children how to fish, he said.

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Friday Sports: Quite the engagement as the Watertown Wolves hit the ice

in Sports 371 views

WATERTOWN, New York (WWNY) – Not only was there a Watertown Wolves home game Friday night against visiting Columbus, but fans were also witness to an engagement.

Not only was there ice at the arena, but also on her ring finger.

Off the faceoff, the River Dragons get on the board first as Jake Grade goes top shelf, putting the visitors on top 1-0.

The Wolves tie it up as Troy Taylor scores his first goal of the season and his first as a Watertown player.

The Wolves gain the lead as they win 4-2.

Friday Sports Scores

Pro Hockey

  • Watertown 4, Columbus 2

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Red & Black back at home this weekend

in Sports 514 views

WATERTOWN, New York (WWNY) – The Watertown Red & Black return to the Alex Duffy Fairgrounds this Saturday night.

It’s Military Appreciation Night, so service members get in free with their I.D.

The Red & Black are facing a Glens Falls team that it beat on the road 9-0 earlier this season.

Defense dominated that last meeting, but there’s no resting on its laurels.

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